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PW #205: YA Historical: THE MESSENGER

Monday, 2 November 2015  |  Posted by Nikki Roberti

Pitchwars Badge (Square YA)Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor Name: Rosalyn Eves
Mentee Name: Anna Carew-Miller
Category: YA
Genre: Historical
Word Count: 67,000


Sheltered by privilege, damaged by tragedy, Edie Fielding is no secret agent. Delving into her mother’s failed suicide when she arrives in Africa in 1965, she uncovers instead Cold War spy games. Edie can drift through her safe expat world or risk her life to finish her mother’s mission, delivering a message that could change a revolution. Isak Dinesen meets Code Name Verity.



For someone who could be the center of the universe, Vivian sure knew how to disappear.

I opened the wide French doors to the terrace, looking looking looking. Like I could ever find her.

A feeble breeze moved my nightgown against my ankles, and I could see the city below. Red tile roofs, the cubes of modern high rises, and the other hills of Kampala, green and rippling in the heat.

Mother, mére, mama. You couldn’t call her Vivian to her face. Couldn’t think of her as Mother.

So weird, that Vivian had lived here, a million miles from everything, in Africa. Just packed up and flew across the ocean to Uganda last September. She and Art, my stepfather, left almost everything behind.

I don’t know why I looked for her. She wasn’t here.

My bare feet moved through the empty rooms. Quiet. Just my whispered footsteps and the ticking clock. Art must’ve gone to work at the Embassy. Miriam, their housekeeper, was gone, too, but she left a note in the dining room. Went to the market. Be back soon.

This was my chance. To find out why, why Vivian had done it. So I took it. Searched every room, opened every drawer, my hand shaking as I fingered every bottle in the medicine cabinet. Aspirin tablets. The obnoxious pink Pepto Bismal. Vivian’s chloroquine pills, to prevent malaria. But it wasn’t malaria that sent her home.



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