By Luke Williams, Viking, 372 pages

From an attic in Scotland, emotional memories are revealed as an aging woman struggles to put her life story on paper. A series of remembrances, beautifully told, about the life of a girl named Evie fill the ages, in parts almost like poetry. The story takes the reader from the attic to a train through Britain, to Nigeria, to America and back. Along the way she experiences friendship, loss, hardship, joy and romance. The style of writing and the story itself are unusual and original. A recurring theme involves sounds and hearing, which Evie finds fascinating.

This is the first novel of author Luke Williams. He was born in Scotland and studied West African history at university. He based the story on research of the colonial history in Africa.

Though sometimes seeming disjointed, the pieces of the story are fascinating and occasionally even sound legendary. The book is generally without suspense, but contains many enjoyable descriptions of Evie’s experiences and the interesting characters she encounters as she travels the course of her life. Written in the first-person about the life of Evie, it is a little odd, even weird, but in a creative and successful way.

Fran Byram