Reeling from a doomed relationship, Jack Morgan jumps at the opportunity to take a UN posting in Kenya, where he falls in love with the Serengeti, the vibrant culture of the country, and Malaika, a Maasai who has escaped her painful tribal past to become a proud and self-sufficient woman. Frank Coates' novel is a clash of love, culture, and traditions, delivered with tenderness by David Tredinnick, who also handles a multinational array of accents - from Australian to American to African - with equal aplomb. Tredinnick shines as the lovesick Jack, whose fragile emotional state blossoms into intense passion.
After a disastrous affair, Jack Morgan is at an emotional crossroads. When he's offered a UN posting in Kenya he grabs it, believing time spent on foreign soil will help him forget and move on. But Africa is a land of danger, adventure and temptation, and within weeks of arriving Jack is seduced - by the spectacular Serengeti National Park, the rich Kenyan culture, and a beautiful Maasai woman named Malaika.
This book could commit a lot of sins but the fact that it's set in Kenya allows it to get away with occasional annoyances (like hello, how many times do we have to reiterate that she's an exotic, black, sleek African princess?). It basically comes down to what appears to be a eager effort on the part of the author to create really compelling, noble, tragic characters, who fall a bit outside the realm of believability as a result. I did think the ending was crap as well.
That being said I was interested throughout the entire book because it does have a fantastic setting and a lot of great story inspiration coming out of that. It touched on a number of issues common throughout East Africa that made for a compelling narrative, although again I have to gripe, you need not mention that they are a "zebra" couple oh so many times. I found myself grumbling at the characters for making race such a central point to their relationship, and essentially seeming to be quite proud of themselves for not letting it stand in the way. (Umhmm, exotic black African princess).
Complaints aside I liked the book.
David Tredinnick was good with the delivery of the story
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Captivating story with sometimes unnecessary deviation. When listening, make sure you can have accelerated speed of 1.5x or you will be asleep very quickly
1 of 1 people found this review helpful