It is 1953 and Kilian and his brother Jacobo leave behind the snowy Pyrenees to embark upon a journey to a far off and exotic land; the island of Fernando Poo. Somewhere at the heart of the evocative, seductive island, their father, a veteran at Finca Sampaka, one of the best cocoa plantations and roasters in the world, is waiting for them.
In this warm, sensuous and evergreen land, the young brothers explore the relatively liberal social life of the colony in comparison to repressed, grey Spain; they share the hard work of growing Finca Sampaka’s perfect cocoa; they experience the cultural differences and similarities between expatriates and natives; and they learn the meaning of friendship, passion, love and hate. But one of them will cross a forbidden, invisible line and fall helplessly in love with a woman. His love for her is affected by complex historical circumstances, and the particular bond between the colonials and the natives on the island, and will transform the relationship between the brothers, changing the course of their lives and creating a secret whose consequences are still being felt in the present day.
In 2003, Clarence, the brothers’ daughter and niece, driven by curiosity about her origins, delves into Kilian and Jacob’s tragic past, following the dusty clues to a secret that will finally be brought to light.
An excellent novel about the colonial past and an extraordinary, moving story of forbidden love reminiscent of Out of Africa.
The author’s family lived in Guinea, and she, like Maria Dueñas, is a noted expert in the colonial history of the area so can offer a special perspective upon it.
A captivating story about how our decisions shape our fate and that of those around us and how love can linger in the memory, surviving time, distance, violence and cultural differences.
The discovery of the magic, people and beautiful landscapes of the African continent, reminiscent of classic works such as Out of Africa.