Poor Mercy is the dramatic and tragic love story of two people caught up in an African famine.
Mogga and Leila, a black and an Arab, should supposedly not even have liked each other. But since the country is on the edge of a catastrophic famine and civil war, the lovers cling to each other's dignity, humour and humanity.
Both work for the same European aid agency. Both are vulnerable, targets of hatred and resentment. Both are strangely, triumphantly resilient.
Based on his own experience of disaster agencies, Falla's novel is fiercely authentic, moving and amusing.
The narrative occasionally rewinds to show us the background to current events, offering deeper insight into Sudanese society.
The foreigners come to rely entirely on Mogga, while not noticing his growing doubts and fears.
When the promises fall flat and the schemes fail the foreigners depart, and people like Mogga are left to bear the brunt of the lingering resentment .
This is a fabulous piece of work. I loved every chapter, each word seemed carefully chosen and used.