In 1988, a retired schoolteacher named Pius Fernandes receives an old diary found in the back room of an East African shop. Written in 1913 by a British colonial administrator, the diary captivates Fernandes, who begins to research the coded history he encounters in its terse, laconic entries. What he uncovers is a story of forbidden liaisons and simmering vengeances, family secrets and cultural exiles--a story that leads him on an investigative journey through his own past and Africa's.
""Rich . . . wonderful . . . entertaining . . . a celebration of storytelling."" --David Willis McCullough, The New York Times Book Review
""A love affair with the past . . . [an] exquisite, tender, and possibly great novel."" --The New Yorker
""Well-written, mulit-layered, and teasingly inconclusive . . . Offers a view of an area seldom treated in fiction. --The Atlantic Monthly