Robin Grant, his wife Tilley and 10 year-old daughter Elspeth arrive in East Africa in the early years of the 20th century with the intention of establishing a coffee plantation. When they arrive, they find that the land, access and the availability of farm labor aren't anywhere near what was promised in the prospectus. Living in tents, they set about building themselves a home and befriending some of the local natives, who offer to help the build the house. They soon start working the land but life is hard and they begin to doubt the wisdom of their decision.
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