A chance encounter at Kennedy Airport with her ex-husband, Saliou Wade, takes Magdalene and their now adult daughter, Khadi, on a visit to him and his new family in Senegal. Magdalene is understandably nervous about the return, remembering the pain of the mutual cultural incomprehension – she is a St Lucian – that ended the marriage almost twenty years before; but Khadi refuses to go without her. In Senegal, whilst the now cosmopolitan Saliou appears to exist comfortably in multiple worlds, there are more complex relationships to manage with members of his large extended family. But the sensitivities are not merely social and cultural. A visit Khadi and her half-sister Maimouna make to the slave port of Gorée has consequences that lay bare unfinished business between West Indians and Africans, between Magdalene and Saliou, and Khadi and her parents. And when Khadi and Hassim, Saliou’s brother-in-law, are drawn together, those looking on must wonder whether history will repeat itself.
Angela Barry lives and works in Bermuda. Her writing has been published in The Massachusetts Review
and she is the recipient of a James Michener Creative Writing Fellowship.