Leopard at the Door
Returning to Kenya after six years in England, eighteen-year-old Rachel has high expectations on her arrival at the family farm. But finding her father’s new partner and son are now living there, and with the memory of a horrible incident still haunting her, the young woman struggles to claw back some sense of her life before the death of her mother. With rumours of Mau Mau violence, reports of cruel reprisals by British soldiers and the surly District Officer’s unwanted attentions, Rachel finds that nothing is as she expected.
Unlike some reviewers, I did not find Rachel irritating or predictable, and while she is certainly naive, her struggle to deal with her past and the unexpected present, are totally believable. The skill of this author is in her ability to draw in the reader, her descriptions painting vivid and realistic images throughout the book. Never having visited Africa, I was captivated by the writing from the first page, and touched by the main character, whose difficult circumstances amid the background of the Mau-Mau uprising in 1950’s Kenya, were realistic, scary and at times, heartbreaking.
A well-researched and completely enthralling read that was only marred by the very small typeface in the print edition.