Originally from Sterling Heights, Michigan, Danielle Maisano currently resides in North London. She has a BA in journalism from Wayne State University and during her time in Detroit, she worked as a journalist in both print and broadcast. In 2011 she joined the United States Peace Corps where she served from 2011-2013 in Togo, West Africa.
In 2013 she moved to London to pursue her MA in International Relations and Diplomacy from the School of Oriental and African Studies. In 2016, she traveled with her husband, Alex, to explore his Chilean roots in the port town of Valparaiso. They settled there for over six months and during that time she was able to concentrate on writing her first novel, The Ardent Witness.
When Lily sets off in her new profession as a development worker in West Africa, she hopes it will be the start of a new, more fulfilling life – far from the trendy gallery scene in Detroit.
For two years, in a remote Togolese village, Lily must get used to bucket showers, a life without the internet, and her neighbors’ fear of sorcerers. But as she becomes more deeply involved with the community, and makes friends with a local girl, she finds that trying to help can bring unforeseen and sometimes devastating consequences.
Based on the author’s own experience, this novel gives a startlingly fresh and intimate perspective on how western aid programs are failing Africa. It also shows, with blistering honesty, how one woman’s life can be irrevocably changed by a sojourn in one of the most captivating and complex nations on earth.