The Palaver Tree by Wendy Unsworth
Africa; beautiful, serene ... and often, deadly. Lives and fortunes change in the blink of an eye. Now that she is alone, volunteering at a school in the Central African Republic of Ducana seems like everything schoolteacher Ellie Hathaway needs. Here is the opportunity to get away from the sleepy Cornish village where recent tragedy still haunts her and with it comes the chance to help the children's charity her friend has worked so tirelessly to promote. But dark forces and ambitions are in play long before Ellie’s arrival in the dusty town of Limba. Even as she begins to believe she can at last find true happiness, she realises that something at the school is very wrong. Is this really the place of loving and giving she had first thought it to be, and is headmaster, Gabriel Cole, really their guardian angel? With so many questions left unanswered Ellie struggles to decide what she must do, but then political chaos descends and suddenly Ellie finds herself more alone than she had ever imagined she could be....
I really enjoyed this book once it started to pick up. It had a slow start and took me awhile to really get into it. However, once it picked up I had trouble putting it down.
I liked the characters and enjoyed reading their story. There is a lot about politics in this book, which isn't something I usually go for. In this case it worked for me. Overall I really think this story is worth reading and quite enjoyable.
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5
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