A Novel

Book - 2007
Rate this:
Random House, Inc.
A transcendent and powerful first novel about two women seeking justice and hope in Africa.

With a swift, compressed narrative style and compassionate vision that recalls the works of Graham Greene, Lara Santoro offers an indelible portrait of Africa in the throes of an epidemic that will ultimately constitute the largest loss of life, love, memory, and hope in modern history.

Anna is an Italian-born journalist based in Kenya. What began as an exploratory three-week tour of Africa has turned into two years of tough assignments and hard living that have provoked a personal crisis: "'We don't do massacres,' Warren, my editor, warned, but what else was there to do? 'Give us the ray of light in the dark,' but there was no light to speak of. The longer I stayed, the angrier I became . . . "

Mercy is the large, flamboyantly dressed African woman who ambushes Anna in the market one day and talks herself into a job as Anna's housemaid. Soon Mercy is organizing interviews for Anna in Nairobi's worst slum and establishing much-needed order in the journalist's disheveled life. While tension and misunderstanding punctuate Anna and Mercy's developing relationship, the two women establish a genuine connection that gives each the courage to battle injustice, greed, and cynicism.

Smart, suspenseful, and ultimately heart-wrenching, Mercy is a powerful tale of moral outrage and personal transformation.

Baker & Taylor
Her original three-week tour of Kenya having extended into two years of brutal assignments and hard living, Italian-born journalist Anna struggles with increasing rage at the disparity between the rose-hued assignment she was given and the harsh realities of local illness, poverty, and violence, a period that is indelibly marked by the contributions of her assertive African companion.

Blackwell North Amer
Anna is an Italian-born journalist based in Nairobi, is drinking too much, missing her deadlines, and juggling two lovers: a war correspondent and a wealthy architect-turned-coffee planter. For all her flaws, Anna is passionate and fearless in her commitment to tell Africa's story whatever the personal cost. The only authority she respects is that of Mercy, the large, flamboyantly dressed Kenyan woman who ambushed Anna in a market one day and talked herself into a job as Anna's maid. While tension and misunderstanding punctuate the two women's developing relationship, a genuine connection is ultimately forged. Mercy begins to take an active role in Anna's work, leading her into Nairobi's worst slums and introducing her to Father Anselmo, a Franciscan priest as wry as he is saintly, who, in the tragic absence of life-saving drugs, is the only comfort to the dying multitudes around him.

Publisher: New York : Other Press, c2007
ISBN: 9781590512715
Branch Call Number: FIC SAN
Characteristics: 279 p. ; 23 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

There are no comments for this title yet.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at IndyPL

To Top