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Mark Wentling
Africa's Heart - The Journey Ends in Kansas
Fascinated by a mysterious novella, aspiring journalist, Robin Fletcher, is determined to discover more about the man described in the book…a man known only as JB. His quest leads him from the small town of Gemini, Kansas to a small, disadvantaged country in Africa. Thousands of miles from Kansas, in the rural village of Ataku, half-caste chief, Letivi, grapples with his village’s problems. The villagers’ main source of income, subsistence cocoa farming, cannot compete with global competition. Young people are leaving the village, and the village’s only store is under the control of a foreigner. Letivi also has personal problems. Wifeless and childless, his ability to understand the family struggles in his village is being questioned. His supernaturally sensitive mother is dying, a tragedy coinciding with the death of the enormous baobab tree into which Letivi’s father disappeared years ago. As Letivi and the villagers plan the development of a cocoa processing plant, Fletcher traces JB to Ataku, prompting a spontaneous trip to Africa with Molly, a ravishing but erratic woman with family ties to the elusive JB. When Letivi, Molly and Robin meet, events are set in motion that change their lives and Ataku forever.