In Nigeria-born, America-based author Ebele Chizea’s stunning debut novel, teenager Ada and her mother flee the civil war of their West African home and come to America in 1966, where Ada soon discovers—and blossoms within—the US counterculture movement, developing a drive for anti-war activism which she takes with her back to Nabuka only to uncover new truths about herself as well as family secrets that threaten to shatter her plans for the future.
While protesting the Vietnam war in America, Ada forges friendships with other nonconformist youth: free-spirited Stacey, a boisterous hippie, and Sal, a philosophical wanderlust. Soon she seeks independence from her mother, love on her own terms, as well as sexual autonomy. College provides Ada with opportunities for academic success, personal experimentation, and full independence, as well as heartbreak. Despite loss and grief over a decade, Ada’s heart becomes her own true compass and guides her to fully become the leader and activist she’d always been deep inside.
Chizea’s brilliant prose and storytelling skills are fully apparent as she reveals a young woman’s struggle to find balance in her life and in herself while straddling physical and social borders of two distinctly different cultures.