Atuonuo lives with her widowed mother Visuenuo in Kija, an ancient village of the Angamis. Their lives are hard—regulated by the seasons and by the ceaseless annual labours of hoeing and digging, planting and harvesting. But it is also a life of peace, lived in a well-knit community of wise elders and caring—though sometimes overbearing—neighbours and relatives. This peace is shattered when Kevi, a young hunter, lithe and possessed of an animal magnetism, better looking than any other man in the village, comes to them at harvest time offering help and a hunk of venison. Kevi falls in love with Atuonuo and proposes marriage. Atuonuo, young in years and unsure of her heart, turns him down. But love becomes menacing when Kevi, angered by the rejection, viciously turns on Atuonuo, and reveals a side of himself that neither mother nor daughter could have imagined in their worst nightmares.
With grace and in restrained, lyrical prose, Easterine Kire draws upon legend and a profound understanding of human nature to weave a compelling tale of love and the demons it sometimes conjures.