On a spring afternoon in London, Sam races up the stairs of his flat two at a time. There’s £1,300 missing from the bank account he shares with his wife, Efe, and his calls are going straight to voicemail. When he finally reaches someone, he learns that Efe is over four thousand miles away, as their toddler looks around and asks, “Where’s Mummy?”
When Efe and Sam met as teens headed for university, it seemed that everyone knew they were meant to be. Efe, newly arrived in the UK from Ghana and sinking under the weight of her parents’ expectations, found comfort in the focused and idealistic Sam. He was stable, working toward a law career, and had an unwavering vision for their future—a vision Efe, now a decade later, finds insufferable. From the outside, they’re the picture-perfect couple everyone imagined, but there are cracks in the frame.
Faced with a life-altering decision, Efe and Sam find themselves on opposing sides, forced to confront just how radically different they want their lives to be. Then one day, Efe disappears. Rootless is a heartrending story about sacrifice, family, and ambition, providing an intimate look at what happens after a marriage collapses—and if it can still be saved.
“Beautiful, gripping, and tender . . . a powerful and unforgettable meditation on love, belonging, and motherhood.”—Emilia Hart, author of Weyward
"The unswerving exploration of marriage, parenthood, and identity in Rootless is brave, insightful, and heartbreaking. . . . A moving debut novel." --Rachel Edwards, author of Lucky
"One mark of a great novel is the emotions its characters elicit within us. Rootless is a character-driven narrative which, from page one, welcomes you in, leads you to your seat, and buckles you in for the journey. Sam and Efe are the epitome of messy, infuriating, and lovable, their romance constantly driving them apart and pulling them back together. They war. They repent. They fly their mistakes like flags. That is the beauty of Appiah's work--humanity is on display on every single page. Rootless is a beautifully honest exploration of the complexities of motherhood, marriage, family, and love. It is a novel not to be missed!" --Onyi Nwabineli, author of