Recently widowed, Sarah Laforge arrives in Zaire to take up her new post at the U.S. Embassy, determined to find meaningful work. The year is 1989 and the expatriate Europeans and Americans Sarah encounters in Kinshasa live in a privileged world where they drink, flirt, and gossip about who is sleeping with whom. But throughout all of this petty activity important business is getting done. Information is being gathered. Big power plays are being made. Jacques Delpech, a Belgian businessman born and raised in Zaire, also moves in these circles. His deep commitment to the country opens up another world for Sarah, while her idealism and openness help to soften his own pain. As a plot to overthrow the dictator Mobutu gains momentum, power, corruption, and sexual jealousy threaten to shatter their idyllic love affair.
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