Elephant in the Sky
A testament to the healing power of unconditional love.
Widely acclaimed for her emotionally powerful stories that capture the real lives of women, Heather A. Clark, bestselling author of Chai Tea Sunday, tackles the subject of childhood mental illness and the impact it has on a close family.
The story begins from nine-year-old Nate’s point of view, etching the details of an unbalanced mind struggling to make sense of rampant thought patterns and heightened paranoia. Enter Ashley, Nate's mother, and a hardworking advertising executive concerned that she’s not giving her family enough of her time — especially now that she senses something might be wrong with her son. As the story moves deftly back and forth between the two perspectives, the narrative converges to reveal one family's journey of discovery as they strive to find balance in their lives.
Based on a true story, Elephant in the Sky articulates a complicated, real-life subject with grace, wisdom and sensitivity, and beautifully explores the distance a mother will go to protect her child.
Thirty-three year old Nicky Fowler thought she had a perfect life - a great job as a third-grade teacher, a loving husband, and a suburban dream home. The only thing missing was a child of her own. When complicated fertility issues lead to heartbreaking tragedy, Nicky’s marriage rapidly crumbles, and she struggles to cope with the harsh realities of her new life. Emotionally lost, Nicky accepts a volunteer teaching position at an orphanage in Kenya. Yet she soon finds that life in Africa is harder than expected; drought has forced the country into famine, the air is filled with the never-ending stench of burned garbage smoke, and violence is everywhere. Worst of all, Nicky learns that Jebet, the jaded orphanage director who never married and lost her family in the post-election violence of 2007, takes her hatred for the world out on the orphans.
Throughout her tumultuous stay in Kenya, Nicky finds strength in her host mother, Mama Bu, who listens to her worries and provides wise advice over cups of chai, Kenya’s signature drink. With Mama Bu’s guidance, Nicky realizes what she must do to help the endangered orphans she’s grown to love and, within that journey, she also begins to heal.
Chai Tea Sunday celebrates the resilience of the heart and the power of hope in the face of adversity.