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A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars

Written by Yaba Badoe

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A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars Review

Adventure Stories Featured Books for 13+ readers Featured Books for Young Adults

September 2017 Debut of the Month |  In a Nutshell: Circus girl searches for roots amidst real-world cruelties 

A dazzlingly powerful kaleidoscope of magic realism, folklore and the brutalities of people-trafficking in which a fourteen-year-old circus girl seeks to uncover her identity. 

As a baby, Sante was washed up with a chest containing a bamboo flute and a leopard skin drum, and welcomed into Mama Rose’s travelling circus. Fourteen years later, still haunted by dreams of the sinking ship, and of those who furnished her with special objects to see her through life, Sante recognises two people from her dreams during a performance. “It's her all right. She plays just like Mamadou used to”, one of them remarks. But how do these people know her? Why does she dream of them? And who is Mamadou? Reluctant at first, Mama Rose reveals that Sante’s trunk also contained other treasures, including a note from her mother. With the strangers set on claiming Sante’s riches, she and snake charmer Cobra decide to discover the truth for themselves.

Throughout, Sante’s story sings with the hauntingly potent voice of the human spirit as it combines timely, poignant truths about refugees with timeless storytelling. This really is a triumphant, thought-provoking treasure trove of a novel.  ~ Joanne Owen


A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars Synopsis

A powerful, haunting, contemporary debut that steps seamlessly from the horrors of people-trafficking to the magic of African folklore, by an award-winning Ghanaian-British filmmaker. Sante was a baby when she was washed ashore in a sea-chest laden with treasure. It seems she is the sole survivor of the tragic sinking of a ship carrying migrants and refugees. Her people. Fourteen years on she's a member of Mama Rose's unique and dazzling circus. But, from their watery grave, the unquiet dead are calling Sante to avenge them: A bamboo flute. A golden bangle. A ripening mango which must not fall... if Sante is to tell their story and her own. Rich in the rhythms and colours of Africa and glittering circus days. Unflinching in its dark revelations about life. Yaba Badoe's novel is beautiful and cruel and will linger long in the memory.

A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars Press Reviews

Praise for True Murder:

'The intimacy and uncertainty of adolescence is strongly evoked' Guardian. 

'The novel surges with raw emotion: guilt, love, betrayal, loss - and treachery'  Daily Mail.

'An action-packed chiller steeped in the passions and potential darkness of childhood'  Sunday Telegraph

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781786695499
Publication date: 08/03/2018
Publisher: Zephyr an imprint of Head of Zeus
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781786695482
Publication date: 07/09/2017
Publisher: Zephyr an imprint of Head of Zeus
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781786695482
Publication date: 7th September 2017
Author: Yaba Badoe
Publisher: Zephyr an imprint of Head of Zeus
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 320 pages
Suitable for: 13+ readers, YA readers
Genres: Adventure Stories
Other Categories: Refugees

About Yaba Badoe

Yaba Badoe is an award-winning Ghanaian-British documentary filmmaker and writer. In 2014 Yaba was nominated for the Distinguished Woman of African Cinema award.

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