Nhamo’s mother is dead, and her father is gone. She is a virtual slave in her small African village. Before her twelfth birthday, Nhamo learns that she must marry a cruel man with three other wives and decides desperately to run away. Alone on the river, in a stolen boat, she is swept into the uncharted heart of a great lake. There, she battles drowning, starvation, and wild animals, and comes to know Africa’s mystical, luminous spirits. Nancy Farmer’s masterful storytelling makes this a truly spellbinding novel and readers will be cheering for Nhamo from beginning to end. A gripping adventure, equally a survival story and a spiritual voyage. Nhamo is a stunning creation while she serves as a fictional ambassador from a foreign culture, she is supremely human. An unforgettable work.