Sweetness In The Belly Author:Camilla Gibb When Lilly is eight years old, her pot-smoking hippie British parents leave her at a Sufi shrine in Morocco and inform her they will be back to collect her in three days. Three weeks later she learns they've been murdered. Lilly fills that haunted hollow in her life with the intense study of the Qur'an under the watchful eye of the saint's disci... more »ple she was entrusted to. Year later, her journey from Morocco to Harar, Ethiopia, is half pilgramage, half flight. In Harar, even her traditional Muslim head scarves cannot hide her white skin in her strange new surroundings; the word farenji - foreigner - is hissed at her at every turn. She eventually builds a life for herself teaching children the Qur'an, and she finds herself falling in love with an idealistic young doctor. But the two are wrenched apart when Lilly is again forced to flee, this time to London. Despite her British roots, Lilly finds she is as much of an outsider in London as she was in Harar.
This is an unforgettable journey between two distinct worlds: the ancient walled city of Harar and the racially charged atmosphere of 1980's London. Camilla Gibb's elegant narrative evokes the stinging disconnect between Lilly's attempts to start anew and her inability to let go of the past. Lilly's story is laced with longing and regret, but above all hope - hope that time and love can heal the wounds of a world left behind. Gibb has pulled off an astounding feat with this stunning novel. Never has the distinct and troubled history of this corner of Ethiopia been told with such clarity, warmth, humanity and grace.« less