Barb Matheson doesn’t fit in: not on the Standing Rock Reservation where her mother was born; not at the mission in rural Ethiopia where she grew up; and certainly not at the Pennsylvania church where her husband preaches. Expansive and lyrical, Unfollowers is a tale of religious angst, unrequited love, and the upheaval of racial and economic privilege. Equally adrift on both sides of the Atlantic, Barb must negotiate the distance between white America and Africa, between the spirituality of her ancestors and the straight tones of evangelicalism, and between rules and grace. When a former lover crashes her daughter’s third birthday party, she’s offered the chance to find her way home to Ethiopia, leaving her to choose between a rote life in America and an improvised life abroad.
“[D]elivers a stunning tale of love and sacrifice . . . Highly recommended for readers of stories that delve into deep waters of faith, values, and the different kinds of love. This debut will appeal to fans of Barbara Kingsolver.”—Library Journal
“This beautiful novel sprawls across space and time, bounces between continents and decades. With a comforting hand, Ruggiero keeps us orientated and engaged. Energetic, stylistically brave, emotionally complex, and gripping—Unfollowers is a singular achievement.”—Gabriel Bump, author of Everywhere You Don’t Belong: A Novel