Gavin Chait’s second novel projects a future perhaps half a century from now in which swaths of Africa are war-torn and ravaged by environmental collapse. Millions of refugees, known as “seekers”, are fleeing the violence, hoping for better lives in Europe — but that continent has its own troubles; London, for instance, is flooded, a half-drowned ghost of its former self.
Briton Simon Adaro plans to build a vast solar farm in the Sahara, bringing him into conflict with local jihadis and Russian energy giant Rosneft, and also into the orbit of aid worker Shakiso, with whom he falls in love. The novel is strongest when charting the couple’s romance and detailing the ruthlessness of high-stakes businesspeople and the brutality of militants.
Our Memory Like Dust, by Gavin Chait, Doubleday, RRP£14.99, 388 pages