My rating: 5 of 5 stars
What a magnificent book by David Ball.
The plot describes the family saga of The de Vries during the historical period of the Prussians invasion in Paris in 1870.
The lives of the cousins Moussa and Paul are entwined in turmoil of events regarding their parent’s fate.
In a tragic event involving an escape through a balloon, Moussa tries to find his own destiny in the Sahara’s desert, which is his mother’s homeland.
In the last part of the book the Massacre of the Flatters’ Mission is described in full details by the author as well as the French attempt to build a trans-Saharan railroad in the North of Africa.