Many poignant moments ... Hypnotic, powerful ... Diop’s portrayal of Adanson navigating the effects and systems of slavery is sharp and astute ... In less skilled hands, the novel’s structure would not work. Aglaé, whose chapters bookend Adanson’s letter, would feel underdeveloped, and the story of Adanson and his family would feel underbaked. But the opposite happens here. In a few vivid brush strokes, Diop...brings to life not only Adanson, but also the ways in which his dreams, loves and losses shaped the lives of those around him. It all coheres mesmerizingly.