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Camilla Gibb: 'Sweetness in the Belly'

Sweetness in the Belly, the new novel by Camilla Gibb, is the story of what happens to a young Irish girl abandoned in Morocco when her parents are murdered. Alone in the world, her search for home and family takes her down some surprising paths.

To Ethiopia, where she feels like an outcast but falls in love with a revolutionary. (The title of the novel refers to that swooping, swoony feeling of new love.) To London, where she ekes out a living as a nurse in squalid public housing.

Along the way there are deserts and mosques and limes trees, turmoil and anarchy and a piece of African history we all should know.

And in the heady bite of freshly ground spices as Lilly cooks her lonely dinner, there's also a sense of a pilgrimage that has ended in home.

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Veronique de Turenne