The cover of The Wolf Hour has the one liner ‘In Africa you find out who you are – not who you thought you were’, a line which perfectly sums up this riveting story from Sarah Miles, a story which redefines families and the cost to the family unit once it begins to fracture .
Based around the ongoing Rebel and Military issues in Uganda and the Congo, Sarah Miles throws a different perspective on a volatile situation focusing on the cultural perspective, corruption and the never ending hope that one day peace will come to war torn Africa.
Tessa Lowell is working in Uganda to try and research firsthand the effects of PTSD and war on children. She considers this work vital to a successful completion of her PhD. Her brother Stephen has been a resident of Cape Town for some time; a man on the up, a man with money to spend and an eye for a good opportunity; a man with few morals and less scruples.
The story opens with Tessa in a compound watching, tensely observing a ceremony; a tribal reconciliation to welcome back Oraako, a former child soldier, into the tribe. She is cautious, ever mindful this is something far from normal, with unimaginably sad consequences should it fail.
She has also becomes aware there are to be a talks between Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Résistance Army and the International Crisis Group somewhere in the Congo, in an effort to try and bring long wanted peace to the area. She talks her way into the group, accepted reluctantly by the Delegates; after days of traveling and hiking through dense and dangerous jungle, the team final reach the jungle camp; a place where she meets 13 year old child soldier Francis, a hardened veteran of war, a believer of Kony’s and eventually to become an unlikely friend.
Her decision has far reaching effects as it plunges her parents, in their safe and comfortable life in Australia, into a situation that has horrific consequences as Tessa is kidnapped and held for ransom by Kony’s men.
Distraught, her parents eventually enlist the reluctant help of their son Stephen to try and rescue Tessa: he eventually agrees but also has his own agenda for flying into Uganda; an agenda that will challenge their belief in family, their children and themselves.
Tessa, her parents and Stephen all discover they need to come to terms about who they really are and the façade that they considered was who they were!
Fast moving, fascinating and written with an very real understating of the issues that are an everyday component of modern life in Africa, Sarah Miles looks below the surface to the world to discover the real person that lies not so very far below the façade.
Brilliant, timely and a must read.
|Publisher||Allen and Unwin|
|Distributor||Allen and Unwin|