In this collection of short stories set in Africa, J. N. Mbunabo delicately explores the complex lives of ordinary people, creating compelling worlds and characters so relatable that you feel bereft when each story ends.

The stories reflect the anomalies in an African sociocultural environment, with sobriety and sprinkles of humour. In ‘Freckles,’ Tanzania’s skin colour makes him a prey for a marauding gang of killers; and when he finds himself in a shelter he learns that he is not alone. In ‘Impulse,’ the feeling of inadequacy and dejection pushes Stella into a vulnerable state; she is prepared to act on her emotions without fear of the consequences. And the title story expounds a heartrending tale of love, abuse, and betrayal.

Mbunabo’s ability to piece together original stories that adequately portray Nigerian society is sublime.

With this beautiful and stirring debut, Mbunabo shows us she’s one to watch and we can expect much more from her in the future.


J.N.Mbunabo was born in Lagos, Nigeria. She studied Law at the University of Benin. Her poems, short fiction and non-fiction have been published online and in print. She lives in Port- Harcourt.