Date: August 2021
Duration: 13 hours 55 minutes
Persephone Wilder, a displaced genius posing as the wife of an American diplomat in Namibia, takes her job as a representative of her country seriously and comes up with an intricate set of rules to survive a range of problems: how to dress in hundred-degree weather without showing too much skin, how not to look drunk at embassy functions, and how to eat roasted oryx with grace. She also suspects her husband is not actually the ambassador's general counsel but instead a secret agent in the CIA. Ever the embassy wife, she takes the new trailing spouse, Amanda Evans, under her wing. Amanda Evans has just arrived in Namibia, mere weeks after giving up her Silicon Valley job, as her husband, Mark, has accepted a Fulbright. But once they arrive in the sub-Saharan desert, it becomes clear that Mark, who lived in Namibia two decades earlier, had other reasons for returning. Their marriage, which seemed solid in the safety of home, feels tenuous in the glaring heat of the Kalahari. Mark, it seems, has secrets born twenty years ago, and this journey is actually a quest to find a woman he left behind. When Amanda's daughter becomes involved in an actual international conflict, lines are drawn in the sand, and it is clear that her own government won't stand up for her or her daughter. Propulsive and provocative, this satirical page-turner compellingly explores the limits of human resiliency and loyalty.