Tag Archives: Africa

An Elephant in My Kitchen by Francoise Malby-Anthony

Overview
An Elephant in My Kitchen by Francoise Malby Anthony

Title: An Elephant in My Kitchen
Author: Francoise Malby-Anthony
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Africa, Conservation, Nature
Dates read: 11th – 13th November 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Publisher: Sidgwick & Jackson
Year: 2018
5th sentence, 74th page: ‘That feisty French temperament will take her places,’ I laughed.

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Synopsis

A chic Parisienne, Francoise never expected to find herself living on a South African game reserve. But then she fell in love with conservationist Lawrence Anthony and everything changed. After Lawrence’s death, Francoise faced the daunting responsibility of running Thula Thula without him. Poachers attacked their rhinos, their security team wouldn’t take orders from a woman and the authorities were threatening to cull their beloved elephant family. On top of that, the herd’s feisty new matriarch Frankie didn’t like her.

In this heart-warming and moving book, Francoise describes how she fought to protect the herd and to make her dream of building a wildlife rescue centre a reality. She found herself caring for a lost baby elephant who turned up at her house, and offering refuge to traumatized orphaned rhinos, and a hippo called Charlie who was scared of water. As she learned to trust herself, she discovered she’d had Frankie wrong all along…

Filled with extraordinary animals and the humans who dedicate their lives to saving them, An Elephant in My Kitchen is a captivating and gripping read.

Thoughts

This book is… amazing. And seriously wonderful. And it made me cry. Repeatedly. And not cute, little tears. But big, fat, I kind of hate the world tears. Which I, honestly think, was the whole point. It most definitely drove home the horrors of poaching and the evils of humanity… which I already knew about. But, still, it was… intense.

An Elephant in My Kitchen is just as brilliant as the three books written by Lawrence Anthony. It is so driven by passion and love for nature. Driven by love and care. Honestly, reading these words was like talking with a friend. Or a kindred spirit. It also seriously makes me want to return to the beauty of South Africa…

The thing that makes this novel so much sadder and more tear jerking than Lawrence Anthony’s three novels is the fact that this focuses a lot closer to home. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still sad what happens in Lawrence’s novels, but there is a lot more action throughout the story. Instead, Francoise is based at home and trying to rescue orphan babies. It’s completely heartbreaking when she’s talking about the plight of babies and orphans. And the horrible lengths that people will go to to kill them…

Francoise does a great job of highlighting and promoting the importance of conservation and the horrors of poaching in this novel. She also shows the resilience and strength that she’s shown after Lawrence’s death. This is a journey of hope and survival. One that I most certainly won’t forget anytime soon.

<- The OutrunPlanet Elephant ->

Image source: Goodreads

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Overview
Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha): Children of Blood and Bone  (Legacy of Orisha): Amazon.com.au: Books

Title: Children of Blood and Bone
Author: Tomi Adeyemi
Series: Legacy of Orisha #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Africa, Fantasy, Magic, Young adult
Dates read: 31st August – 17th October 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Publisher: MacMillan
Year: 2018
5th sentence, 74th page: “Thank you,” I whisper into her fur.

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Synopsis

THEY KILLED MY MOTHER.
THEY TOOK OUR MAGIC.
THEY TRIED TO BURY US.
NOW WE RISE.

Thoughts

This is one of those books that I keep looking at, and seriously wanting to pick up. But then, because I’m somewhat of a child… I get distracted, see something shiny and find something else. Plus, it’s a pretty big book, so I did found it somewhat of an intimidating idea to read. And now I’m regretting not reading this as soon as it came out and found a home on my shelves. Because this is freaking awesome. As in turn the final page and then just stare into space with a really bad book hangover kind of awesome…

This story is all about oppression and power. The inequality and narratives that are often told to justify marginalising and preying upon another group. Whilst this is loosely set in Africa, there were many moments throughout this that were cringe-worthy as I thought about what has been done to Australia’s First Nations Peoples. It is a story that is sadly told across the world, and I loved how this novel dealt with such an issue. How a very, very difficult conversation is had in the pages of this story that will, hopefully, help a whole new generation understand a little bit more about the past.

Zel and Amari are the most fantastic female leads I’ve come across in a while. Zel is all hard edges and aggression. She is so obviously trying to fit into a world and identity that is too small for her. But, there is also a lot of sadness and despair there. Which I can’t wait to see how she continues to grow. Because boy does she mature throughout this novel. And Amari is nothing like what I would have expected as a counterpoint. She begins as someone who seems to be all soft edges and gentleness. And then, as the story continues, you find that backbone of steel and strength. And that gentleness and understanding that Zel lacks. I really hope that these two become best of friends, because I can’t really imagine it turning out any other way…

This is an amazing novel. It introduced me to aspects of African culture, which of course I know next to nothing about. It reminded me of my White Privilege. And it manage to intertwine all of this with an amazing young adult fantasy story of magic and mayhem. Power and triumphing over evil. I really can’t wait to see where Adeyemi takes Zel and Amari next…

<- More Tomi AdeyemiChildren of Virtue and Vengeance ->

Image source: Amazon