My Heart Is Not My Own | Penguin Random House Canada
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My Heart Is Not My Own

Publisher: Penguin Canada
Dr. John Rourke is haunted by his days as a relief doctor in West Africa. In the 1990s, in the midst of a civil war, he provided medical attention and supplies to the people of Sierra Leone. He befriended a local nurse named Mariama Lahai and a doctor named Momodu, but lost contact when the conflict escalated to conflagration. His last memory of Sierra Leone is of Mariama delivering a beautiful baby girl to a tortured, mutilated mother just before armed rebels take the hospital.

Now living in Vancouver and happily married to Nadia, who is expecting their first child, John is thrust back into the horrors of the past by the arrival of a package from Sierra Leone. He realizes that before he can commit to his future, he’ll have to confront his conscience and the pain of his past. He embarks upon a journey that takes him back into Mariama’s world of child soldiers, bush-wives, and African secret societies.

My Heart Is Not My Own is a story of love, courage, and resilience that is brought to life through the powerful voice of Mariama.


"Wuitchik's alluring novel about the haunted and the hunted captures both love and ferocity in the unhinged setting of war in Africa. An authentic and beautiful read." - Richard Heinzl, author and founder of Doctors Without Borders/Medecins sans Frontieres Canada

"A compelling first novel. Wuitchik writes convincingly about the realities of warfare—without resorting to cliches or political banners." - Sikeena Karmali, author of A House by the Sea

"My Heart Is Not My Own is not an easy read. But books that compel us to leave the comfort of our worlds to understand the humanity of others seldom are. It is a testament to the strength of Wuitchik's courageous characters that we are not left without a sense of hope. This is a book worth spending time with." - Yejide Kilanko, nationally bestselling author of Daughters Who Walk This Path

This debut literary novel takes readers from the familiar spaces of Vancouver to the complicated and haunting territories of Sierra Leone. It is a candid and thoughtful journey through the minefields of post-trauma, memory and recovery. - Winnipeg Free Press