Rhumba by Elaine Proctor

Rhumba

Elaine Proctor

Plucky little Flambeau is smuggled out of war-torn Congo by his Mum who promises to join him as soon as she can get away. Days go by with no word - where is she? He resolves to find her himself. Even with help from Eleanor, a pale Scottish girl, and her boyfriend Knight, a glamorous Congolese gangster, Flambeau's quest seems hopeless. Loveable and colourful characters bring big political issues to life in this gripping tale.

Extract

The rain was pelting down when they stepped out of the church. It was a hard rain for London. And it was cold.
People scattered like leaves. The entire congregation seemed to have been swept away in the time it took to open an umbrella.
Only Flambeau, Eleanor and Postman were left.
They stood in the middle of the small square. No one had the slightest idea what to do next.
Flambeau took Eleanor's hand.
She said, 'Can't go home.'
The truth was neither of them could have crossed the threshold of their flat, so full of unmade beds and mourning and sweat and dissolution. The distance they had travelled from morning to afternoon made it fatal to go backwards.
It seemed to occur to both of them at the same time that Postman needed a home. He would sweep out the ghosts with his sweetness and make it safe.

Parallels
  • The Great Agony & Pure Laughter of the Gods by Jamala Safari
  • Ru by Kim Thuy
  • A Life Apart by Neel Mukherjee

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