Fiction. From award-winning author David Starr comes a timely and gripping novel, set in east Africa, about two women forced to navigate a broken refugee system in a human crisis the world has forgotten. Victoria Deng was sixteen when her school was attacked during the Second Sudanese Civil War. Only Victoria and her sister Mary survived. Rescued by rebel soldiers shepherding hundreds of children across the desert to a refugee camp, the girls endured thirst, hunger, and unimaginable violence during their harrowing journey. Twenty years later, restless Vancouver student Abena Walker—looking to find herself and rediscover her African roots—flies to Ukiwa Refugee Camp in Kenya as a teacher. There while teaching Victoria's two children, Abena learns that the family will soon be in grave danger. She resolves to defy camp rules and help them immigrate to Canada and reunite with Victoria's sister. But outwitting the system will require knowing who to trust and planning a daring escape that will risk both their lives. Inspired by the story of two real-life refugees, Starr illuminates the despair and desolation, but also the compassion and hope, experienced during our most desperate times.
David Starr is the prize-winning author of six books, including Ronsdale's THE NOR'WESTER (2017), THE KING'S SHILLING (2018), and LIKE JOYFUL TEARS (2019). He is the past winner of the Province's "Serial Thriller" writing competition, and was an education columnist for the Chinese language paper WC Weekly. David Starr is a high school principal, who lives in Coquitlam, B.C.