WHAT TEARS US APART
In a gripping story about self-exploration and atonement, Cloyed skillfully manipulates time to heighten anticipation, creating a page-turning novel. The characters are complex and flawed, drawn to one another in their search for wholeness and their desperation to escape their painful, haunting pasts.
Failing to find purpose in her life at home, Leda impulsively volunteers to work at an orphanage in Nairobi, Kenya, after being intrigued by Ita, the handsome man pictured on the website. Leda arrives to a world of poverty, so unlike her own, but is soothed by the excitement of the orphan boys and the steady, calm nature of Ita. Drawn into their world, Leda finds comfort and love in ways she never expected, but that happiness is soon threatened by Chege, a gang member from Ita’s past, and the post-election violence throughout the land. Amid the upheaval, Ita and Leda wonder if their differences and pasts will tear them apart or if their love really can overcome anything. (MIRA, Apr., 318 pp., $14.95)