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The Memory of Love

by Aminatta Forna

Adrian Lockheart, a psychiatrist, leaves England to work in Sierra Leone in the wake of civil war. There he finds friendship – from both colleagues and patients – all whom have secrets to keep and stories to tell. A compelling story of betrayal, love and longing - and relationships torn apart by a country at war.

Extract

In this country there is no dawn. No spring or autumn. Nature is an abrupt timekeeper. About daybreak there is nothing in the least ambiguous, it is dark or it is light, with barely a sliver in between. Adrian wakes to the light. The air is heavy and carries the faint odour of mould, like a cricket pavilion entered for the first time in the season, it is always there, stronger in the morning and on some days more than others. It pervades everything, the bed sheets, towels, his clothes. Dust and mould. Outside his window somebody is talking in a loud voice. He has no idea what they are saying. For a moment his mind drifts with the thought. To be surrounded by languages you don't understand. Of how it must, in some ways, be like being deaf.

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