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River Spirit by Leila Aboulela

River Spirit by Leila Aboulela

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1880s Sudan. When Akuany and her brother are orphaned in a village raid, they are taken in by Yaseen, a young merchant whose vow to care for them will tether him to Akuany throughout their lives. As revolution brews, Sudan begins to prise itself from its Ottoman rulers, and everyone must choose sides.

Yaseen feels beholden to stand against the self-proclaimed Mahdi, a decision that threatens to splinter his family. Meanwhile, Akuany grows into womanhood and travels alone across the fractured country, sold and traded from house to house, with only Yaseen as her intermittent lifeline. Their struggle will mirror the increasingly bloody struggle for Sudan itself: for freedom, safety and the possibility of love.

River Spirit is a powerful tale of corruption and unshakeable devotion – to a cause, to one’s faith and to the people who become family.

Publication: 5 March 2024, Saqi

Extent: 336 pages

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