Here’s some feedback from a friend I thought I’d lost contact with – she’s living in Australia now. What an amazing place is the internet!
I’m being slow to read your novel – because it’s reading on computer-screen, which normally I avoid. I’m up to Part 3.
I can’t imagine anyone who had a Kenyan childhood failing to resonate with “Breath of Africa“! It’s very immediate, and sensual, and the descriptions of animals are wonderful. What I can’t guess is how much your novel is a fictional form of memoir. I would think it largely is?
The descriptions of places we knew growing up in the ’40s and 50s, are a pleasure to read – Menegai, Nakuru and Nairobi races, the road to Nairobi and Nairobi itself.
As for the whole sequence of Charles’ arrival in London & Oxford – that must resonate, for many of us, too. We went off, so unsophisticated, to rainy, cold Ulaya, not feeling that we belonged at all! At the end of my first year, I went to Macedonian Jugoslavia with a bunch of student Labour types on very little money, just to be in some brown landscape with plenty of sun.
Am looking forward to the next sections. You are clearly an optimist, so Kenya is bound to look good. From here on in, your novel will seem new to me. It is where my memories of Kenya won’t be stimulated in the way they have been so far.
Thank you, Jane!