Monday, April 8, 2013
A Spear of Summer Grass
I received an advance copy of A Spear of Summer Grass by Deanna Raybourn. As in Alexander McCall Smith's books, Africa, itself, is a character here as alive as the savanna and deep as the rift valley. Raybourn brings the land and its people to life, breathing and dusty with attitude.
Delilah Drummond is banished by her family from polite (and not so polite) society in Paris to rusticate at Fairlight, her uncle's plantation, near Mombasa. Near is a relative term depending on the coming of the long rains when the roads are barely passable.
Fairlight might have been called an operating plantation if the irrigation system operated properly. As it is, Delilah and her cousin, Dora, are immersed in a mystery which is, at first, barely perceptible. She encounters a hunter and guide who hates guiding and seems to have bagged most of the women in the area. A challenge? Perhaps.
Delilah carries her own ghosts who reach from the past and seek to capture her future. She is changed by the people and the experiences she encounters. She is, however, an excellent shot.
I could not put this book down: Received it on Friday evening and finished it on Sunday afternoon. Deanna Raybourn just gets better and better.