summary

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a land suffers.

a boy listens. 

a man lies. 

a girl speaks.

Nigeria, 1963: recent years have seen the slow but steady advancement of the petroleum industry, a formidable conglomerate of companies that have made the delta theirs. The coasts are swallowed by refineries; the forests suffer in silence. Those who live by the rivers know how the oil chokes the land.

The boy knows, too. He has seen how the smoke from the refineries turns the elders' eyes rheumy. How the water turns slick and poisonous for weeks at a time. The boy knows, and he is afraid.

When the refineries take his job away, the boy moves for the streets to beg. There he meets the girl, and she is afraid, too. She has seen her parents taken by the poison smoke, seen how avarice pushes people to selfish cruelty. And there he learns of an elaborate conspiracy that threatens everything he's ever known. Ever loved.

The girl tells him wit is stronger than motive - but is hope stronger than greed?


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