Book Reviews

#BookReview Leopard At The Door By Jennifer McVeigh


Thank You very much to publisher – Penguin Books UK/Viking and NetGalley for the review copy.
Genre: General Fiction (Adult) / Historical Fiction
Release date: 13 07 2017
Price*:£ 3.99(GBP)/ $13.68 (USD)
Pages: ~ 402
My rating: 8/10
You can get this book here:
Amazon UK
Amazon US
What I learned from this book: You are never alone, there is always someone who will be willing to help you.

Description of the book: Stepping off the boat in Mombasa, eighteen-year-old Rachel Fullsmith stands on Kenyan soil for the first time in six years. She has come home. But when Rachel reaches the family farm at the end of the dusty Rift Valley Road, she finds so much has changed. Her beloved father has moved his new partner and her son into the family home.

She hears menacing rumours of Mau Mau violence, and witnesses cruel reprisals by British soldiers. Even Michael, the handsome Kikuyu boy from her childhood, has started to look at her differently. Isolated and conflicted, Rachel fears for her future. But when home is no longer a place of safety and belonging, where do you go, and who do you turn to?

How this book made me feel: My favourite genre to read normally is mystery, crime or thrillers, but I try to choose different genres from time to time. I need to rest from investigations and murders, that’s where historical fiction, YA and other books come in. This book is no exception; I needed something to clear my mind, and it really done the job.

Let me begin by saying, that I loved the environment used in this book. Author portrayed the surroundings and places in this book with great detail, and made me actually feel the African spirit. So, all her travels through Africa, really helped her to describe what she felt to the reader.

The main character in this book was Rachel, and she was the one to share her life with a reader. This novel had a huge variety of very diverse characters, some of them positive and dear to the heart, and some of them really negative, which made me really angry about them. Unfortunately, I did not have any favourite character in this book, as I felt they were not fully developed and opened up to the reader. I would’ve liked to read different perspectives and have more insight into different personalities. Even though I really tried to like Rachel’s rebellious views and kind heart, I think some of her decisions were really silly and disappointing.

The narrative of this novel starts in 1952, when British Empire is on a verge of collapsing, and Kenya wishes its independence. I absolutely adored all the details about Mau Mau, their ideology and ways of action. I loved Michael’s thoughts about war and his country’s independence. I think, this book was really well researched and the whole spirit of the book was shared just gorgeously. The whole story was flowing very smoothly, with some turns and twists, which kept me interested. There was a great love story going on in this book, but I would’ve liked it to be a bit more passionate than it was. Author discussed some interesting topics in this book, such as: Life after mother’s death and relationship with a stepmother; feelings, when you don’t have anyone to turn to; love and betrayal.

The writing style of this novel was not difficult to read, but it contains some African words, which were explained at the end of the book. (If you read it on Kindle, it’s not very helpful) The chapters of this book have decent length, but it might drag a little, because there is not much action going on in this novel. The ending was quite interesting and done the justice to the book and Rachel, but still left me questioning about “What happened to Michael?” So, overall, I actually enjoyed this story of wish for independence, unexpected love, family difficulties and betrayal, and I would recommend immersing yourself into this beautiful Kenyan setting.

About Author: Jennifer McVeigh graduated from Oxford University in 2002. She went on to work in film and publishing, before leaving her day job to do an MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University.

She has travelled in wilderness areas of East Africa and Southern Africa, often in off-road vehicles, driving and camping along the way. The Fever Tree was a Richard & Judy Bookclub Pick.
Website – Twitter – @McVeighAuthor

*-the price was taken from and at current date. Price might change at your time of purchase. The links used in this post for book purchases are affiliates. #37

3 thoughts on “#BookReview Leopard At The Door By Jennifer McVeigh

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