This is a tongue-in-cheek, often hilarious account of the dysfunctional lives of a group of expatriates in fictional Zimbabwe. Stella, the central character, wonders if she is the Scarlett O’Hara of Africa, as she juggles with her various roles as hostess, fashion designer, lover, secret agent and spy. Stella, dumped two years ago by her husband, now lives off her father and her bickering gin-swilling racist, oversexed in-laws. Galloping inflation means extra work at the bridge club,
last bastion of the ‘Ancient Britons’, where she falls in love with Dan and life for several months is bliss. Everything starts to go wrong when Dan disappears and her ex-husband, having served a sentence in jail for illicit diamond smuggling, stoned on marijuana, demands to be taken back. She is persuaded to help escaping mercenaries because, as a child she toured the country with her do-gooding mother and knows of back roads to evade the police.
Unfortunately she is witness to the massacre of illicit diamond diggers, and Stella has to get away for a while. Just as she and her father prepare to fly to Britain, on a trip financed by his tennis protégé, Dan reappears. She clings to her lover but her father insists that they leave. There are thrills when the lad wins the Wimbledon Singles but tragedy when her father catches pneumonia and dies – his first trip to his homeland in fifty years. At his funeral Dan is at Stella’s side, as are several of Moses’ sons, who sing Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika in memory of their mentor. Dan offers Stella hope for a brighter future but Nic is pleading for her to return and she feels the pull of Africa. What shall she do? Like Scarlett she says, “I can think about that tomorrow.”