Companions in Fate

Original title: Lotgenoten

Publication Date:

January 2024



Original language and publisher

Territories Handled

Worldwide excl. Dutch


Literary Fiction

Companions in Fate

Original title: Lotgenoten


‘An important story. […] Ajali is trapped between black and white. Piercing Ajali’s emptiness, however, there is her brother Benjamin. Vulnerable together. Powerful together.’ — Trouw

‘Ingabire lucidly puts into words what it is like to grow up in a world that turns you into a stranger. She unravles with raw honesty the complexity and stratification of (Ajali’s) identity […]. An unforgettable and rich novel that will be either painfully familiar or painfully confronting for many, but well worth reading. — VPRO Gids

Beautiful, raw and honest. Her refreshing style of writing is uniquely her own. — Naomie Pieter

Captivating literary debut by the Rwandan-Belgian journalist Sabrine Ingabire.’ — Knack

A quest for connection, identity and solace

Ajali, a  Belgian-Rwandan teenager, is about to finish high school in Ghent. Born to refugees, she grapples with the complexities of society to carve out her own place within it. As she observes her older brother, Benjamin, skillfully navigating the country that once colonized their homeland, a sudden change occurs. Benjamin, now confined to his room in their parents’ house, exposes Ajali to the raw reality of untreated pain, forcing her to confront her own depression.

This story is also about the profound bond between brother and sister, the quest for connection to an unfamiliar homeland, and the love within a family grappling with the weight of the past and the burden of silence. Ajali’s journey becomes a universal search for solace in a world that can be both overwhelming and lacking in comfort.

The narrative unfolds over the course of a year, starting sometime before Christmas and spanning the school year into the summer of 2011. Sabrine is trilingual (French, English, Dutch), and the dialogues of her characters switch between speaking both colloquial French and the East-Flanders dialect.

Praise by book bloggers:

‘Incredibly beautiful book. About the bond between brother and sister, and that despite not being able to always understand one another, you can nevertheless be there for each other.’ […] A very topical theme.’ – @billyleest on TikTok

‘Wonderful. […] I cried after reading the last sentences of this book. Because this coming-of-age story is painful, as well as comforting and loving.’ – noribooreads on Hebban

‘This book was worth the wait.’ – Kimberly @Noribooreads

‘Beautifully written with tremendously apt, evocative language. Both Ajali and her brother struggle with mental health issues and this is depicted in a raw and honest way. This book is truly an enrichment to my bookshelf and my mind. The book has ‘only’ 185 pages and I was totally engrossed! ★★★★★ – BookswithnukLotgenoten synopsis

Marketing Information

  • English sample available
  • Funding available from The Flemish Foundation