Chapter 48 Summary

On the first Sunday of every month, just after midnight, Marion calls Hema. It can be an expensive call because Almaz, Gebrew, and sometimes Matron want to talk first. They are no longer afraid their phone is being bugged—not since Hema delivered Comrade Mengistu’s child. Life in Marxist Ethiopia is difficult for most, but those who do favors for its leader—and particularly for his wife—are not forgotten. Missing faithfully receives its medicines and supplies without having to spend its precious money on bribes. As he dials, Marion thinks about his extended family, watching the clock and waiting for a call from a continent none of them have ever seen.

Almaz and Gebrew tell him they are praying for him. Matron is...

(The entire section is 1295 words.)