I quickly became absorbed in this story of Lily, a white Muslim nurse, who spent her formative years in Ethiopia. She later runs a refugee project in London. The evocation of Harar and its religion and culture is brilliantly done. The central love story will touch your heart and the book will remain in your memory. Wonderful!
At lunch that day, when I was quite sure Dr. Aziz was far away at the hospital beyond the city wall, I went to the market to fetch a cone of salt. I passed a set of metal doors I had passed nearly every day, this time counting the footsteps between his compound and mine. One hundred and two. So close. He must fall asleep to the same sounds, I realized. Metal doors being scraped shut, babies crying and hyenas whooping as they roam the neighbourhood scavenging for scraps. And if he were to listen closer: Bortucan blubbing, Nouria comforting her, Fathi's mouth falling open, catching flies, and me lying awake with a pounding heart wondering if that was him I could hear breathing in the distance.