Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Flame Tree's of Thika

I have an affinity to stories about Africa (see list on blog for additional suggestions!), especially about people from other places settling there. This memoir tells the story of a family in 1907, living in England. They decide to move to Africa and start a coffee plantation/farm. They have little or no knowlege or experience with either of these two businesses. It amazes me that without a glance back a family would make a move this extraordinary. They arrive with a mere curiosity and interest but their love of the land and people grows intensely and it undoubtedly becomes their home. They live in grass huts with furniture they have brought with them to Africa. They manage to find and make foods that are palatable. They read any material they can lay their hands on to assist them with their new endeavors. They admit there is not much written about this area at this time. Their money is limited, they have a young daughter that they attempt to home school. Who does this sort of thing???? Do people still have this sense of adventure? They are not alone. A handful of Europeansand Austrailians become their neighbors. All quirky characters, one more nuts than the next. The author was the young girl in the story. Through her eyes we see Africa. We feel Africa and sometimes we can smell it! She is wonderful at detailing her story sometimes with the great emotion of a child and then as an adult trying to understand what the adults in her life were accomplishing and struggling with. Thoroughly enjoyed this classic. Can't cast this movie because although I have not seen it, I am told there is a mini series!

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