An epic story set against the backdrop of the birth of the Zimbabwean nation. Our narrator is Zamani, who is a lodger with Abegnego and Agnes, whose own teenage son has gone missing. Zamani seeks to supplant their son in their affections, and sets about this by adopting and weaving himself into their family history. He takes advantage of Abegnego’s alcoholism to get him to recount his past, and this is done in a series of flashbacks during which we see the violent emerging of Zimbabwe and Mugabe’s cleansing regime of the Ndebele people. This family becomes the lens for Tshuma to explore ideas of identity and its creation – whether individual, or national, and how political events can shape personality. Historic detail sits perfectly alongside character development and story plotline. It’s quite a bleak look at the nature of unregulated power and there are some violent scenes, yet the suspense and dark humour balance this. Tshuma’s prose is lively, fresh and evocative.