No Turning Back
The dots on the plains far below were gazelles, zebras, elephants, buffalo and there were probably leopards in the thorn trees, and a lion pride or two. She felt the stirrings of an even deeper passion for Africa and, with it, a longing for a fulfilled life with Zeno. She wondered if they might have a child together. And if they were to be together, could Australia be included in their life in Ethiopia and Kenya?
Young Australian anthropologist Louise Davitt, embarking on an Ethiopian field trip, is soon living with the world's poorest people and sampling their culture in her typically adventurous, passionate and unconventional way. No Turning Back is the story of a girl who grows up loving country Australia and later tries to implement change in the lives of African women.
Set against actual politicial events and cultural realities, the book reveals much about Ethiopia's vulnerability in the face of natural disasters and political turmoil. Louise Davitt's determined pursuit of independence leads her to life-changing situations, often thrilling, sometimes dangerous. A love triangle portends bitter experiences of trauma, illness and loss.
Stretching from the great Ethiopian famine of 1984-85 to the present day, No Turning Back takes readers on a walk with the Hamar tribe, to rural Australia, the UK and to poignant times in New York and Paris. Louise triumphs. Yet she is not a hero - just one who copes with life's wounds. Her personal trauma and grief become a celebration as she taps into the resilience learned from her grandmother and from a magical time spent with women of Ethiopia's nomadic Hamar. Grasping an unusual opportunity, she turns a setback into a challenge and rebuilds not just her own life, but the lives of others.
'A moving tale of cross-cultural endeavour dealing with problems that for millions of people are all too real. Rees's knowledge of this complex world is evident; his compassion for the powerless shines through.' - Cate Kennedy - author of Sing and Don't Cry: a Mexican Journal
'Powerful, realistic and moving - I wept.' - Christine Durham, former Senior Victorian of the Year and author of Doing Up Buttons