|Preceded by||My Cleaner|
The book has three main characters :
- London author Vanessa Henman is travelling to Uganda to attend a British Council sponsored conference for African authors to be held at the Sheraton Hotel in Kampala and afterwards as a tourist to see mountain gorillas in Bwindi.
- Mary Tendo, Vanessa's former cleaner is now Executive Housekeeper at the Sheraton; and is unaware that Vanessa will be attending the conference.
- Trevor Patchett, Vanessa's former husband is a plumber and has been invited out to Uganda by Mary Tendo to repair a well in her home village which is no longer supplying water, he is also unaware of Vanessa's visit.
Three other narratives make occasional appearances
- Back in London Vanessa and Trevor's son Justin is looking after his son Abdul Trevor who is unwell whilst Zakira his partner is travelling to Brussels on business
- On the border between Uganda and DR Congo a hungry teenage LRA child-conscript is trying to make his way back home to Uganda
- By way of contrast President Museveni considers his options in dealing with the international tensions.
- "Executed with a lovely light touch ... an immensely enjoyable novel" - Lionel Shriver in The Daily Telegraph.
- "Worldly, witty, enjoyable, impressive" - Doris Lessing
- "it's sparky and funny and terrifically entertaining" - Patrick Ness in The Guardian.
- "Fast-moving, energetic, constantly surprising" - Hilary Mantel
- "This is a writer who clearly knows her way through central Africa's alphabet soup of rebel groups, and who also has a clear-eyed grasp of the scramble for money and power that drives the regions wars. Gee's novel is an admirable success" - Matthew Green, Financial Times.