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All art is unstable. It's meaning is not necessarily that implied by the author, There is no authorative active voice. There are only multiple readings. David Bowie, 1995

Thursday, May 2, 2013

'Africa...the very word conjured a spell for me.'

...so mused Delilah, and the working of the spell is mighty. (...and can I just say that this novel cast a spell over me).
As Tusker says to Delilah, 'you’ve already got a taste for Africa, child. You won't be satisfied with anything less.'

A Spear of Summer Grass by Deanna Raybourn   

Kenya in the 20's -- the romance, the struggle, the survival, the dark and decadent sides--all viewed through the monocle of the elite…and those few committed to the of all.
Escaping Parisian society's gossip and scandal over the suicide of her late husband, followed by her husband's family demanding the return of the family jewels, Delilah agrees to being bundled off to Africa by her mother, Mossy, and Mossy's 'court of gentleman.'
Throughout, Delilah treats us to interesting soliloquies and delivers some delightfully pertinent lines. I am quite enamored by her. To an encroaching stranger who would sit at her table se remarked, 'I can smell a wife a mile away...and you have the stink of one all over you.'
A lingering sadness strengthened by the joy of occasions intermingle in Delilah.
This is an independent woman of the 1920's finding her place.
The story won me from the first paragraph and held me close until the last. An excellent read!

A NetGalley ARC

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