When Rachel Fullsmith loses her mother at the age of 12, she also basically loses her father and her home in Kenya due to her father sending her to boarding school in England. When she returns to Kenya 6 years later, she finds that very little remains the same. Not only is another woman living with her father, but there is political upheaval taking place. The Mau Mau Rebellion was a real-life uprising that took place in Kenya in the 1950’s. The Kikuyu community has been split apart, some remaining loyal to the British in Kenya and others violently rebelling. The violence is even directed at those Kikuyu who refuse to take the Mau Mau oath and who just want to live peacefully. Rachel longs to help the Kikuyu but Michael, a Kikuyu who was her teacher when she was little, doesn’t always agree with her methods. Rachel also has a memory of an incident that occurred when she was a child that she has always kept secret. Will that memory be as much of a danger to her as the Mau Mau? Or will her forbidden love be the most dangerous of all?
This is a wonderful book packed with emotions. The main character, Rachel, sometimes seem to be unbelievably naïve but she is very young and has lived a protected life. I’m not sure of the age difference between her and her love interest but his previous role in her life when she was a child caused me to cringe a bit when they become involved. But regardless of those small faults, I was pulled completely into this engrossing story. Parts of it read like “Out of Africa” with the beauty and originality of Africa shining through the struggle between the Africans and Europeans to live together in peace. Ms. McVeigh writes in a similar lyrical manner. She does a great job in conveying the reasons for the rebellion and the division among the Kikuyu. The story is a very suspenseful, dramatic one. Highly recommended.
This book was given to me by the publisher in return for an honest review.