With admission to The Program, an elite interdisciplinary graduate cohort at the forefront of astronomy and technology, Rosa's dreams are finally within reach. Her research into the cosmos follows in the footsteps of her astronomer father's revolutionary work in Bantu geometries and Indigenous astronomies. A bona fide genius, he transformed the scientific landscape by fusing the best of Western and Indigenous scientific thought. Yet since his death during her childhood, Rosa has been plagued by anxiety attacks she dubs "The Terrors"—and by unresolved questions about her father's life. Who is his mysterious friend Mr. C? Who was her father, really?
Excellent ... Tshuma is nuanced yet explosive as she explores the intersection of science, identity and grief. The novel brims with insights about astronomy, technology and Indigenous folklore, and it thoughtfully questions how those ideas interact with race and heritage ... A smart, incisive novel that blends a gripping coming-of-age story with a poignant story about loss.
Satire kicks in as readers follow Athandwa’s progress in her gifted fellowship program as she encounters discrimination, misunderstandings, and petty rivalries. She later discovers some uncomfortable truths that shatter her ideas about ambition and success as well as her fervent idealization of her father.
Tshuma writes beautifully about the stars and the people who watch them, mixing poetic prose with tangibly emotional descriptions ... Allows readers to uncover new ideas and emotions well into the book. Between Athandwa’s desire to follow her father, the rejection she faces from American society and the distressing backdrop of a war-torn Zimbabwe, this book re-creates an intricate web of immigrant life. Tshuma traces multiple stories of family, immigration and self-discovery into a thrilling and beautiful constellation.