Now the loneliness flowed into the open, dimming the sky, an ache that kept her awake into the small hours, refusing to be kept at bay. This was to some extent a matter of perception, however, for it was also true that [her daughter] Alemitu was still at home, and now there were Alemitu's two daughters.
There was a time when the slogan 'Etyopya Tikdem, Ethiopia First' was heard often enough in the country disrupting the old ways. By the time this happened, the author's grandmother, whose tale is told in the book has long been widowed. Once married to a priest, she chooses not to remarry after his death and through close to the hundred of her life, she saw political turbulence that led to the world changing over and over again. Her own life, drenched in religion and local belief, continued with the same concerns: her children, her grandchildren, putting food on the table, and collecting rents. She could not read till her 60s but became an experienced litigant learning to recognise a document by its folds and fingerprints. And, through it all, her life remained closely tied to the cycles of nature and the landscape she was born to.