Picks and Pans Review: The Devil That Danced on the Water
Late one night when Forna was 10, her father—a Sierra Leone doctor and popular former cabinet minister—was taken from their home and executed in a government attempt to quash democracy. But this isn't a political book. In the first part of this moving memoir, Forna brings her family to life, in both their idyllic ups (family gatherings in Freetown) and incongruous downs (living in a camper in her mother's native Scotland).
In the second, shorter section, an adult Forna, now a British journalist, returns to her father's homeland looking for the truth behind his death. Instead, she discovers the story of an entire nation's demise. "How fragile life is in a country like this," she writes. And how lucky the reader who sees it through her eyes. (Atlantic Monthly, $25)
BOTTOM LINE: Poignant and passionate