Monday, 29 May 2017

Leopard At The Door by Jennifer McVeigh

Release Date: 13th July 2017
Publisher: Viking
Genres: Historical Fiction

'A simply stunning novel that will stay with me: a magnificent book' Dinah Jefferies, bestselling author of The Tea Planter's Wife

Stepping off the boat in Mombasa, eighteen-year-old Rachel Fullsmith stands on Kenyan soil for the first time in six years. She has come home.

But when Rachel reaches the family farm at the end of the dusty Rift Valley Road, she finds so much has changed. Her beloved father has moved his new partner and her son into the family home. She hears menacing rumours of Mau Mau violence, and witnesses cruel reprisals by British soldiers. Even Michael, the handsome Kikuyu boy from her childhood, has started to look at her differently.
Isolated and conflicted, Rachel fears for her future. But when home is no longer a place of safety and belonging, where do you go, and who do you turn to?

Stunning! Simply stunning. I can't think of a better way to describe this book. From the first page right through to the last I was engrossed and transported to an age of uncertainty, fear, political unrest and social change, death and prejudice. All frightening things but particularly for a young girl who has spent most of her formative years in a boarding school in England, coming to terms with the death of her mother.  Not only has Rachel come home to a changing Kenya but also to her father's new partner and her son and Rachel feels she no longer has a place anywhere in the world. The Kenya that she left behind all those years ago is not the same one she is returning home to.

The writing in this book is rich and powerful and its social messages are strong. Sometimes the awful cruelty throughout makes for difficult reading but Jennifer McVeigh's descriptions of Africa are almost hypnotic, transporting the reader to a country of not only outstanding beauty but unspeakable horrors and of a place divided and cruel. Such contrasts that are simply difficult to comprehend.  This is a book that you simply fall into from page one and don't ever want to be rescued from! A highly recommended read! 

One Response so far.

  1. Andrea says:

    Ooh!!! I must get this one!! I grew up in Africa so it's a definite read! Thanks!!

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