I am grateful to the “village” that encouraged me to write and complete this novel. To Jennifer Bacon, who founded Black Women Writers, of which I was a member in Maryland, USA, and Shanna Smith, both sisters who encouraged and believed in me when I wasn’t sure of myself – you are “a friend of my soul.” Ranetta Hardin, Bettina Judd, Emily Bowden Cogdell, and Kellea Tibs were part of the circle when I first tested my creative voice, and I am thankful for their encouragement. The Hurston/Wright Foundation in Washington DC provided an opportunity to hone my skill as creative writer: I am especially thankful to have had as workshop facilitator, Tayari Jones, whose writing and teaching inspired and grew me. In South Africa, my creative tribe Diana Ferrus, Makhosazana Xaba, Patricia Fahrenfort, Nadia Sanger, Shelley Barry, Natasha Diedricks and Malika Ndlovu read and commented on various drafts, helping me craft a simpler, more streamlined story. Thank you to the Department of English and School of Literature, Language and Media at the University of Witwatersrand for supporting my work. I am also grateful to Colleen Higgs of Modjaji Books, who took a chance on my work, and Alison Lowry, whose skill and sensitivity as an editor is unrivalled. To Vicky Stark, Rehana Rossouw and Julia Grey, who read and commented on my work: thank you. I am most grateful to my mother, Una Boswell and sister, Nina McKenzie, who read and commented on various drafts of this work – I am carried by your love and support.