In this stunning debut novel, a Kenyan expat living the American dream with her husband and adopted son soon finds it marred by child trafficking, scandal, and a problematic past.
Mugure and Zack seem to have the picture-perfect family: a young, healthy son, a beautiful home in Riverdale, New York, and a bright future. But one night, as Mugure is rummaging through an old drawer, she comes across a piece of paper with a note scrawled on it—a note that calls into question everything she’s ever believed about her husband . . .
A wandering curiosity may have gotten the best of Mugure this time as she heads down a dangerous road that takes her back to Kenya, where new discoveries threaten to undo her idyllic life. She wonders if she ever really knew the man she married and begins to piece together the signs that were there since the beginning. Who was that suspicious man who trailed Zack and Mugure on their first date at a New York nightclub? What about the closing of the agency that facilitated the adoption of their son?
The Fall of Saints tackles real-life political and ethical issues through a striking, beautifully rendered story. This extraordinary novel will tug at your heart and keep it racing until the end.
"Enchanting and sly, Wanjiku Wa Ngugi's The Fall of Saints is that deliciously slow-burned baked Alaska with razors hidden at its core...the story of a beautiful immigrant wife attempting to establish her family in America only to have unexpected horrors in her native Kenya compel her to happen upon a heart stopping secret from which there's no return. Ngugi's clinical, scalpel-like narrative rewards the reader with ferocious twists that left me breathless. An impressive debut." – Kola Boof, author of The Sexy Part of the Bible
"A fast-paced and urgent read that forces us to consider one of the worst human rights violations of our time." – asha bandele, author of The Prisoner's Wife
"Wanjiku Wa Ngugi's The Fall of Saints starts off fast and just gets faster without ever sacrificing the depth and complexity of its complicated cast of international characters. When Mugure Sivonen begins to suspect that her husband Zack is not telling the truth, she begins asking questions that take her from New York to Kenya and ultimately threaten not only her marriage, but her life." – Pearl Cleage, author of Babylon Sisters
"A taut, smart international thriller that seems all too credible, with a protagonist who feels like a friend. The Fall of Saints is an exciting new voice from Wanjiku wa Ngugi." – Tananarive Due, American Book Award winner, author of My Soul to Take
"Wa Ngugi’s novel explores a timely issue from a unique perspective." – Booklist