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Castles from Cobwebs


Longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize and named among the 50 most notable new books from Africa, Castles from Cobwebs follows one girl’s transition from youthful innocence to understanding as she navigates questions about family, identity, and race.

“I’d always known that I was Brown. Black was different though; it came announced. Black came with expectations, of rhythm and other things that might trip me up.”

Imani is a foundling. Rescued as a baby and raised by nuns on a remote Northumbrian island, she grows up with an ever-increasing feeling of displacement. Full of questions, Imani turns to her shadow, Amarie, and her friend Harold. When Harold can’t find the answers, she puts it down to what the nuns call her “greater purpose”. At nineteen, Imani answers a phone call that will change her life: she is being called to Ghana after the sudden death of her biological mother. 

Past, present, faith and reality are spun together in this enthralling debut. Following her transition from innocence to understanding, Imani’s experience illuminates the stories we all tell to make ourselves whole.

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