‘What were we, then, if ‘English’ was a prize out of our reach and ‘Tunisian’ was the mask we wore at home?’Growing up in London with Tunisian parents, wayward Nessie finds herself caught between cultures. Her parents don’t want her becoming too English, while at school she doesn’t feel ‘white enough’ or ‘African enough’ to fit in with any group. She even has multiple names: Nesrine officially, Susu to her family, Nessie to everyone else.
And then there’s Mrs Brown: a charismatic woman who befriends her parents and soon becomes the glue holding their dysfunctional family together. Yet after a catastrophic betrayal, Mrs Brown abruptly disappears from their lives.
Years later, Nessie seeks independence but struggles to escape a pattern of self-sabotage. As unsolved family mysteries resurface, she begins to wonder: what really happened between her parents and Mrs Brown?