Rosie Richardson, a frothy young woman trapped in the cauldron of the publishing world, finds herself involved in a dysfunctional relationship with TV personality Oliver Marchant, a Teflon-coated Romeo who slips in and out of her life with greater frequency than she'd like. Disenchanted with their glamorous lifestyle, Rosie packs her bags and (quite literally) heads for the hills, embarking on a personal odyssey through the majestic deserts of Africa to the fictional state of Nambula, where each day's sunrise brings a daunting challenge.
Upon arrival in the sparse refugee camp, Rosie immediately gets a sense of just how eccentric some of her new neighbors are. Muhammed, a local go-between with a flair for melodrama, the burly Irish doctor O'Rourke, and two seasoned nurses are all catalysts for the story who keep spirits alive and send emotions on a roller-coaster ride. When a carpet of locusts wreaks havoc among vestiges of the season's last crops, disease and starvation become a palpable threat that plagues the proud refugees of Nambula with fear.
But stubborn government regimes turn a blind eye to the dangers facing the village, the relief workers' pleas for food and assistance are ignored, and fever and calamity run rampant, forcing Rosie to return to London and enlist the help of her former lover and the motley crew of friends they once shared. In a final, inspired act of desperation, the former publicity flak miraculously pulls off an international appeal with results that far surpass anything she had imagined.
Author : Helen Fielding