Late at night, Leah wakes up to the sound of cries from the streets. She rushes outside, where she sees that the street is full of ants. Anatole, who’s nearby, shouts out to Leah. He touches her hand and tells her that he’ll go alert Leah’s family to the danger. Leah is embarrassed that she walked out of the house without alerting Adah to the ants—she’s betrayed her “other half.”
This is a major turning point in the novel, and one of the highpoints of Kingsolver’s prose. Leah has been growing apart from Adah throughout her time in Africa, and here, we get a sense for just how wide the divide has become. Leah feels pangs of guilt, of course—she seems to be a naturally guilty person.