ONE OF THE GUARDIAN'S 2020 FICTION HIGHLIGHTS: Petina Gappah's epic journey through nineteenth-century Africa is 'engrossing, beautiful and deeply imaginative.' (Yaa Gyasi) This is the story of the body of Bwana Daudi, the Doctor, the explorer David Livingstone - and the sixty-nine men and women who carried his remains for 1,500 miles so that he could be borne across the sea and buried in his own country . The wise men of his age say Livingstone blazed into the darkness of their native land leaving a track of light behind where white men who followed him could tread in perfect safety. But in Petina Gappah's radical novel, it is those in the shadows of history - those who saved a white man's bones; his dark companions; his faithful retinue on an epic funeral march - whose voices are resurrected with searing intensity. This final, fateful journey across the African interior is lead by Halima, Livingstone's sharp-tongued cook, and three of his most devoted servants: Jacob, Chuma and Susi. Their tale of how his corpse was borne out of nineteenth-century Africa - carrying the maps that sowed the seeds of the continent's brutal colonisation - has the power of myth. It is not only symbolic of slavery's hypocrisy, but a portrait of a world trembling on the cusp of total change - and a celebration of human bravery, loyalty and love.