At age 19, Neal Moore, a drug-addled sixth-generation Mormon, bids farewell to his cancer-stricken mother and grants her dying wish: to become a missionary. Accepting an assignment to the South Africa Cape Town Mission, “Elder” Moore goes from the comfortable, upper-class suburbs of his native Los Angeles into a nation emerging, sometimes violently, from the strictures of racial apartheid. It’s the early 1990s, a volatile period between Nelson Mandela’s release from prison and ascension to power. And nowhere is the struggle more intense than in the black townships where Moore is assigned to take up residence. But this naïve and troubled “soldier of God,” who toys with suicide because of the deaths of an idolized older brother and his mother, finds solace in the friendship and solidarity of the people he’s been sent to teach, the Xhosa. Evocative, disturbing and at times hilarious, Homelands is the true tale of one youth’s discovery that there is a world beyond one’s own culture and beliefs, set against the backdrop of a nation in motion, struggling to define itself on the road to freedom.