An extraordinary debut novel about an American woman who travels to West Africa as a missionary. In 1853, twenty-year-old Emma Bowman follows her new husband to West Africa, as the continent's first white woman missionary. Here, Emma will either survive a trial by fire or succumb to a crisis of faith. Among the Yoruba people, Emma learns to recognize the grim reminders of the brutal slave trade. And as her husband battles fever, his gift of a writing box with its diary becomes Emma's solace.