This is a story of a clash of cultures, corruption and crushed dreams. For once, however, the central character is an African, who has been away from his home for a very long time. He has been living in New York for years - and he has not become rich. So he decides to steal a statue of the god Ngene from its shrine in his home village, to achieve his dream in his adopted country. Expect consequences - lots of them. Achebe would love this book.
Ensconced in his favorite corner in the shrine, a shadowed spot that gave him the anonymity to flip his roving eyes from one man to another, Ike soaked up the stories and tales that his uncle and the other elders told about the white preacher. Sometimes, in the midst of an account, he would drift off, only to awake to another part of the story. He wanted to ask questions, but always suppressed the urge, afraid that his intrusion would still the story. His patience and silence paid off, for any question would finally be answered, any gap filled in, that day or later, by the same storyteller. It was as if Stanton's story were woven into the fabric of the very air in the shrine.