A compelling, entertaining novel. A compassionate account of drought-stricken suffering and privation in an imaginary, least-developed African country. The description of relief and recovery activities offers readers a vivid insight of the many and varied challenges of mitigating, preparing for, responding to, and combating such crises as severe drought—a description that may also assist prospective disaster managers. People’s pleasures and their unexpected perils during that country’s emergency further illustrate life at the sharp end and blunter end. But remain aware, readers, that the narrator—a university tutor—leads a double life.