The haunting memoir Flowers & Locusts opens a window on the legendary kingdom of Ethiopia through the extraordinary childhood of an American girl. The author's father brought his family there from New York City to become official advisor to the Emperor and the arc of her story is set against the dramatic events that lead to the downfall of the king. Flowers & Locusts is also a meditation on the universal joys and pains of childhood.
The young narrator finds solace in her passion for horses fights youthful battles for justice and shares spirited adventures with a beloved younger brother. This was a time in history when flights to the royal capital were by propeller plane and television had not yet come to Ethiopia. As moments of chaos and terror engulf her the girl's deep bonds with Ethiopian caregivers and a gentle neighborhood boy sustain her spirit.
Interwoven with memorable descriptions of Ethiopia's landscape and traditions the book is ultimately a work of gratitude to the author's family as the girl learns life lessons from her larger than life father gracious southern mother and rebellious older sister. On leaving the remote and mysterious country of Ethiopia as a teen the author feels the profound loss of the only home she's ever known.
Martha Paradis was raised in Ethiopia and England. For the past thirty years she has been a psychotherapist specializing in trauma resolution. She lives in New Jersey with her husband has two grown children and maintains her lifelong interest in world cultures and still considers Ethiopia the home of her heart