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Raybourn (The Dark Enquiry, 2011) presents a sweeping romance set in 1920s British Kenya. After one escapade too many, notorious socialite Delilah Drummond is exiled from Europe to her former stepfather's estate. When she arrives there with her cousin Dora, they find everything in shambles. With the help of native workers, they slowly restore the estate to an acceptable standard of British comfort. At first, the white community embraces her, from artist Kit to safari guide Ryder and everyone in between. Although she is content to become Kit's lover, her heart grows closer and closer to Ryder as he gives her practical advice about survival and shows her the beauty of Africa. When Kit is murdered, however, the white community is in upheaval, and Delilah is heavily involved. The book's title, taken from poet Walt Whitman's Song of Myself, embodies Raybourn's central themes of self-sufficiency and oneness with nature. Delilah can't come to terms with the beauty and brutality of Kenya, its people, or Ryder until she comes to terms with herself.--Henshaw, Pat Copyright 2010 Booklist
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It's 1923, and Delilah Drummond is a modern woman who doesn't mind a little scandal, but the questionable circumstances of her soon-to-be ex-husband are better avoided. Sent by family to Kenya as a distraction, she finds this vast new world is perfectly suited to her particular habits and abilities. Strangely, it's the people, not the unfamiliar animals, who are the troublesome creatures, including the dashing Ryder White. Longtime fans prepare your happy dance, then make room for a legion of new followers as word of Raybourn's (The Dark Enquiry; Dark Road to Darjeeling) completely satisfying new stand-alone historical spreads. Characters with deeply interior flaws rising slowly to the surface and an exotic setting that creates its own sense of drama will make readers want to savor each page while desperately needing to know what happens next. Cultural details of the European community in Africa and the Creole community of New Orleans overlap in unexpected ways, meshing unexpectedly with lore of the Masai in Kenya. VERDICT From sweetly touching moments requiring tissues to hot-blooded hunts for prey of both two and four-legged varieties, this book elicits the widest range of emotions, and does it with style.-Stacey Hayman, Rocky River P.L., OH (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Bestselling author Raybourn's latest (after The Dark Enquiry), set in 1920's Kenya, finds plucky, party-loving American divorcee Delilah Drummond about to be shunned from Parisian social life when her husband kills himself after receiving her divorce papers. With Delilah's team of advisors insisting she seek refuge while the story cools off, she reluctantly agrees to an African excursion with her plodding cousin Dora as chaperone. Even on another continent, Delilah's reputation precedes her, yet she harbors more heartbreak and depth than is evident from her actions. With her unflappable veneer in place, Delilah meets Ryder White, an intriguing, maddening man who challenges her bravado. Despite her initial dismay at her exile, Delilah finds her nursing experience helpful to the local Kikuyu, which brings her life the purpose it had been missing. As Delilah adjusts to her exotic new landscape, she finds more than she expected, both in the people she meets and within herself. Rayburn's breezy, straightforward style is a nice counterpoint to the complexity of her heroine. Agent: Pam Hopkins, Hopkins Literary Associates. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.