African Paradise by Jill Morsbach
18 Dec 2018
Kim Hastings, a freelance editor living in Cape Town, undertakes a gruelling and lifechanging journey with her eleven-year-old son, Gregory, to the war-torn Horn of Africa, in search of the boy’s half-Somali, half-Arab father, Gregor, who has been missing since before the son was born.
As twenty-year-old students at Cape Town University, Kim and Gregor have a short and passionate liaison before Gregor makes a hasty return to the New Kingdom of Punt (a fictitious state in northern Somalia) when a local clan war breaks out. The lives of his English foster parents, who live in Punt, are at risk. Kim only discovers she is pregnant after Gregor leaves, and conceals the real facts of her relationship from her son. Gregory’s discovery of the truth precipitates the search for his father.
There has been no word from Gregor for twelve long years. Kim and Gregory have no idea whether he is alive or dead. What they discover when they finally make it to Punt, accompanied by a friend of Kim’s brother, seems at first to be an idyllic African paradise. But piece by piece the fabric of illusion is shredded, until the three of them are confronted by terrifying and unpalatable truths.
African Paradise is a story of Africa, part fiction, part fantasy, combining a journey of discovery with a tale of hardship, superstition, power-seeking and, finally, self-sacrifice.
Innocence dies but not love: of a woman for her son, her brother and a man whose selfless heroism illuminates the African night