In the early-sixties, a young Tayo Ajayi sails to England from Nigeria to take up a scholarship at Oxford University. In this city of dreaming spires, he finds a whole generation high on visions of a new and better world. And it really does seem as if the whole world is ablaze with freedom movements. The post-colonial fires are burning brightly back home in West Africa, fuelled by the politics of Pan Africanism and financed by a fortuitous economic boom. On the other side of the Atlantic, the US Congress is about to pass the Civil Rights Act and Che Guevara is busy trying to export the Cuban Revolution. Meanwhile, across the West, the first tremors of the countercultural and sexual revolutions are about to be felt.
It is in this heady atmosphere that Tayo meets Vanessa Richardson, the beautiful daughter of an ex-colonial officer. Their story, which spans three continents and four turbulent decades, is that of a brave but bittersweet love affair. It is the story of individuals struggling to find their place within uncertain political times. Its a story of passion and idealism, courage and betrayal, and the universal desire to fall madly, deeply, in love.
Sarah Ladipo Manyika was raised in Nigeria and has lived in Kenya, France, and England. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and currently teaches literature at San Francisco State University. Sarah’s first novel, In Dependence, was published by Legend Press (London) and Cassava Republic Press (Abuja). Sarah was Chair of Judges for the 2015 Etisalat Prize for Literature.