When young Tom Ormsby cons his way onto the great explorer Henry Morton Stanley’s “Relief of Emin Pasha Expedition” in 1887, he’s looking for adventure. But he has no idea what lies ahead of him. From the exotic bazaars of Zanzibar to the mouth of the Congo River and beyond, Tom soon learns he’s signed on for more than the rescue of the mysterious Pasha. He’s on a journey through the ravishing beauty and brutality of a jungle world peopled by slavers, warring tribes, cannibals, and colonial masters—all jockeying for survival in 19th-century Africa.
As Karr follows Tom’s remarkable three-year trek, she raises some provocative questions about slavery, the right of one country to impose its cultural imperatives on another, and the arrogance that can prevent a man from achieving his ultimate goal. Startling, scary, and surprising, this true story takes the reader deep into the heart of the African past.