I don’t want to tell you what happened. I want to tell you how it felt. Cassandra Williams is twelve; her little brother Wayne is seven.
One day, when they’re alone together, there’s an accident and Wayne is lost forever. Though his body is never recovered, their mother can’t stop searching. The missing boy cleaves the family with doubt: how do you grieve an absence? And how does it feel?As C grows older, she relives and retells her story, and she sees her brother everywhere: in cafes, aeroplane aisles, subway cars.
Here is her brother’s older face, the light in his eyes, his lanky limbs, the way he seems to recognise her, too. But it can’t be, of course. Or can it? And then one day, there’s another accident, and C meets a man both mysterious and familiar, a man who’s also searching for someone, as well as his own place in the world.
His name is Wayne. Namwali Serpell’s piercing new novel captures the ongoing and uncanny experience of grief, as the past breaks over the present, like waves in the sea. The Furrows is a bold exploration of memory and mourning that twists unexpectedly into a masterful story of mistaken identity, slippery reality, black experience, and the wishful and sometimes wilful longing for reunion with those we’ve lost.
‘In Namwali Serpell’s hands, grief is a kind of possession. The Furrows is a piercing, sharply written novel about the conjuring power of loss.’ – RAVEN LEILANI