The breathtaking new novel from the internationally bestselling author of The Rain Queen and Congo Dawn.
'You are her mother in this moment. The future is another time.'
In a remote corner of Tanzania, Essie Lawrence lives with her husband in an archaeologist’s camp. One morning a chance encounter with two strangers sees Essie making a rash promise. When she returns home to the research base, she has a baby in her arms. She is to care for the little girl until the coming of the rains. And then hand her back.
The organised world of Magadi Research Camp is turned upside down. As her heart opens up to new life, Essie is drawn into the ancient wisdom of the Hadza, the last hunter-gatherer tribe in East Africa. And she is led back to memories of her own mother and her first home on the island of Tasmania, at the far end of the world. But there is a price to pay. Essie’s marriage, her career – everything she’s worked for – is put at risk.
On the shores of the flamingo lake, personal stories are played out alongside the Lawrences’ quest to find the origins of the human species. Nightmares and dreams go hand in hand as past and present merge. What is real and what will turn to dust? And after a season of being a mother, will Essie be able to survive the hardest challenge of all? To love, and then let go…
An exquisitely told story about one woman’s bond with a baby, and the deep need we all have to find our own tribe.