When civil war erupts in Somalia, cousins Domenica Axad and Barni are separated and forced to flee the country. Barni manages to eke out a living in Rome, where she works as an obstetrician. Domenica wanders Europe in a painful attempt to reunite her broken family and come to terms with her past. After ten years, the two women reunite. When Domenica gives birth to a son, Barni, also known as Little Mother, is at her side. Together with the new baby, Domenica and Barni find their Somali roots and start to heal the pain they have suffered in war and exile. This powerful yet tender novel underscores the strength of women, family, and community, and draws on the tenacious yearning for a homeland that has been denied.