Bella is a teenage chocolate junkie - fashion-mad and God-haunted - who lives in the lakeside village of La Frisette in France with her aristocratic grandmother. When an exotic black stranger turns up and takes an entire floor in the grandest hotel in her small community, there is considerable dismay amongst the local populace. Worse still; word spreads that the unwelcome guest is a polygamous African tyrant, overthrown in a coup and exiled amid rumours of embezzlement and cannibalism. The question is, why is he interested in no one but Bella?
Christopher Hope was born in Johannesburg in 1944. He is the author of nine novels and one collection of short stories, including Kruger's Alp, which won the Whitbread Prize for Fiction, Serenity House, which was shortlisted for the 1992 Booker Prize, and My Mother's Lovers, published by Atlantic Books in 2006 to great acclaim. He is also a poet and playwright and author of the celebrated memoir White Boy Running (1988).