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The Scent of Burnt Flowers    by Blitz Bazawule order for
Scent of Burnt Flowers
by Blitz Bazawule
Order:  USA  Can
Ballantine, 2022 (2022)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Barbara Lingens

In the book's Acknowledgments, Blitz Bazawule, a many-sided author, talks about his childhood in Ghana, and how he hung around the adults, listening to their tales. This has served him well because The Scent of Burnt Flowers is a wonderful melding of all sorts of stories.

Bernadette and Melvin, Americans fleeing to Ghana to escape a crime, find that appealing for help from Melvin's friend, Kwame Nkrumah, the current president, is going to be harder than they imagined. t the same time, an FBI investigator, Agent Hughes, arrives, convinced he will be able to arrest the couple quickly enough that his boss won't mind the fact that he left the U.S. without permission. Meanwhile, Bernadette and Melvin meet Kwesi and his band, who are going to play for the president.

Each of these characters has a back story that Bazawule weaves into the plot, sometimes in a magical and otherworldly way. This makes for delightful reading - we feel we are learning about Ghana and its people through a unique, though sometimes a bit confusing, vision. This is a very interesting debut novel.

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