After a year, central Africa has finally started to feel like home to Anne, a human-rights activist from California. Deeply committed to helping the strife-torn nation of Burundi during its first democratic elections, Anne has also begun a serious affair with Jean-Pierre, a government official allied with the Tutsi ruling class. But when the election brings the rival Hutus to power, violence breaks out, leaving thousands of people dead, and laying bare disturbing secrets about Anne’s lover and his family. She reluctantly returns to California, only to discover troubling secrets in her own family.
As she struggles with the moral implications of all she has learned, Anne must reconcile complex conflicting claims of duty and love. The True Sources of the Nile unfolds like a passionately felt love affair that initially obscures the world around it, then comes to brilliantly illuminate it.