Parents send their daughters to Our Lady of the Nile to be moulded into respectable citizens, and to escape the dangers of the outside world. In the elite school run by white nuns, the young ladies learn, eat, sleep and gossip together. Fifteen years prior to the 1994 Rwandan genocide, the girls try on their parents’ preconceptions and attitudes, transforming the lycee into a microcosm of the country’s mounting racial tensions and violence. In the midst of the interminable rainy season, everything unfolds behind the closed doors of the school: friendship, curiosity, fear, deceit, and persecution. With masterful prose that is at once playful and penetrating, Mukasonga captures a society hurtling toward horror.