Novel: Nefelibata

 

“A contemporary coming-of-age tale about magic, fierce love, complex family relationships and embracing one’s power”

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 Available NOW in paperback and Kindle

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A reluctant monarch from a noble society of cloud-walkers falls to earth and loses her mystical powers.

How will she find her way home…?

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For the seeker who challenges tradition and relishes the taste of  alchemy and magic.

Here is a tale for you…

 

‘I am Nefelibata. I fell because I stopped believing.’

‘Is that your name?’ Ama asked.

‘No, I am Nefelibata; one of the cloud-walkers,’ she pointed towards the sky which was dark and severed by an ominous, white gash. ‘I fell,’ she repeated.

Ama Atta threw her arm under the girl’s and hoisted her from the ground. She was heavier than she looked. How would Ama explain this to Mama? This find; this bronze-coloured girl, thin-limbed yet as heavy as a tree. The Nefelibata staggered like a drunkard. She looked at Ama sadly and without a word, allowed herself to be led.
Ama Atta bowed under the girl’s weight. They walked slowly and silently whilst Ama rehearsed the words she would say to her mother like an anxious actor on opening night. As they walked through the door, Mama Efua kept stirring the pot with one hand whilst stretching out her other hand to receive the coconut milk she’d sent her daughter to buy.

Ama brushed past her mother. ‘She was hurt, Mama. I had to help her,’ she said, easing the heavy, bronze girl down onto the sofa. She busied herself making the Nefelibata comfortable. Her reedy limbs splayed across the sofa like a huge, inelegant spider. She seemed to take up all the space in the small room which doubled as a kitchen and living room.

At last, Ama turned and made eye contact with her mother who was now standing with her arms folded across her chest, regarding the Nefelibata with that terrifyingly disappointed look at which mothers are experts.

‘Why have you brought this drunk girl to our house?’ said Mama, in a steady, indignant tone.

‘She’s not drunk, mother. She fell.’

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In a newly-minted mining town, we meet Ama, a heretical girl whose subversive ways disturbs her mother. She is disenchanted with the greed eating her people, so she sits at her altar and asks for magical assistance. One evening she comes across a beautiful yet bedraggled girl called Nefeleah who claims to have fallen from the sky.

 

She is not the first cloud-walker to lose faith

but she is the first to fall.

 

The Nefelibata are a society of noble cloud-walkers; muses to The Below where humans reside. Nefeleah is next in line to lead her people but the crusty, ancient incantations of The Elders bore and confuse her.

After hearing her two greatest mentors – the Queen and the Oracle – doubt her abilities to lead their people, the reluctant monarch finds herself spinning through the sky and landing in Ama’s dusty town in The Below. She is not the first Nefelibata to lose faith and inspiration but she is the first to fall. How will she get home?

 Ama and Nefeleah’s immediate bond unnerves Ama’s traditional African family. Her mother, Mama Efua, is already trying to deflect the scandal of her separation from the children’s father. Mama Efua cultivates strong women but is at a loss about what to do with her unorthodox child.

There is one character who may be able to help the Nefelibata – the old seer who exchanges prophecy for silver and soup. He agrees to help in any way that he can but it seems that this conundrum may be beyond even his mystical repertoire.

 

Available now in paperback and Kindle 

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