Words leave imprints in your mind like footprints in the sand...
Lake Louise, Canada
Copenhagen, Denmark
Loch Ness, Scotland
  • Location: Mozambique

Woman of the Ashes

Woman of the Ashes

Why a Booktrail?

1890s: The Gaza province of Mozambique is drowning in a torrent of war.

  • ISBN: 978-1642860399
  • Translator: David Brookshaw
  • Genre: Fiction, Translated Fictioin

What you need to know before your trail

At the turn of the nineteenth century, the Gaza province of Mozambique is drowning in a torrent of war. Imani, a fifteen-year-old girl, struggles with her cultural identity as she is torn between her VaChopi roots and the occupying Portuguese. Her life becomes further fractured as her family is broken apart amid the conflict. Germano, a sergeant wrestling with guilt and grandeur, attempts to subdue one of the last African kingdoms, but meanwhile falls in love with Imani and loses himself to an infectious madness.

Travel Guide

Travel back in time to 1890s Mozambique with  Woman of the Ashes

The first in a trilogy about the last emperor of southern Mozambique. It is the fictonalised  story of Portugal’s attempt to colonize the territory of Gaza in 1894. Ngungunyane, the last of Gaza’s leaders has raised an army to fight the colonizers and take the territory. He along with his army are heading towards the small border village of Nkokolani where the story takes place.


The village feature in the novel is fictional. In this village, the story of the colonisers and the occupied unfolds, the two sides represented by Imani, A teenager from the VaChopi tribe and Sergeant Germano de Melo, captain of the garrison who is there to represent the interests of the Portuguese crown.


“The differences between my two brothers reflected the two sides of the border that separated all our family. Times were hard and required us to choose allegiances.”

BookTrail Boarding Pass: Woman of the Ashes

Destination: Mozambique  Author/guide: Mia Couto Departure: 1900s onwards

Back to Results

Featured Book

The Majesties

2000s: When your sister murders 300 people, you can’t help but wonder why.

Read more