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Green City in the Sun Paperback – August 10, 1989


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 647 pages
  • Publisher: Trans-Atlantic Publications, Inc. (August 10, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330307231
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330307239
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 4.5 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,930,396 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Wood's skill as a writer of well-crafted, impressively researched romances is growing. With this engrossing saga, set in Kenya from the early 1900s to the present day, she should achieve a breakthrough to readers who look for literary competence as well as a good story. Here she traces the intertwined destinies of two families over three generations. Lord Valentine Treverton is representative of the upper-class Britishers who founded white settlements in Kenya: hardworking, determined to wrest a coffee crop from East Africa's fertile soil, he is also arrogantly ignorant of the ancient traditions of the natives who call their home Kikuyuland. When Treverton cuts down a sacred fig tree on his new plantation, medicine woman Mama Wachera puts a curse (thahu) on the Treverton family until "the land is returned to the children of Mumbi." Her descendants are destined to play a vital role in the apparent success of that curse. Representing the best that white settlers brought to East Africa is Valentine's sister, Dr. Grace Treverton, who establishes a mission clinic that strives to bring modern medical care to the native population. "Daktari" Grace is another link in the chain of pioneering female physicians who feature in most of Wood's (Domina, Vital Signs) novels. Wood nicely recreates time and place, interweaving the main events in Kenya's history with domestic details and social nuances to enrich a sometimes melodramatic tale of pride, passion and revenge. The customs and taboos of the Kikuyu are appropriately integrated into the narrative, as is the inevitable conflict of cultures, sweeping to a maelstrom of violence during the Mau Mau terrorist uprising of the 1950s. 100,000 first printing; $125,000 ad/promo; paperback rights to Fawcett; Literary Guild dual main selection.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

“A reader-pleaser in every way.” —Phyllis Whitney, New York Times bestselling author

“Barbara Wood brings the beauty of the African landscape I know and love stunningly alive.” —Barbara Taylor Bradford, New York Times bestselling author of A Woman of Substance

"From page one, I knew I was in the company of an accomplished storyteller. Barbara Wood has written an enthralling saga, packed with memorable characters and rich detail. Treat yourself and read it." —John Jakes, New York Times bestselling author

"A master storyteller. She never fails to leave the reader enthralled." —Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey, author of A Woman of Independent Means

“An accomplished storyteller.” —John Jakes, New York Times bestselling author
 
“Wood shows herself a wizard at juggling action and romance, maintaining the momentum and sparkle of both.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Wood makes her fiction come alive with authentic detailing and highly memorable characters.” —Booklist

“Barbara Wood is an entertainer.” —Washington Post Book World
 
“Wood crafts vivid sketches of women who triumph over destiny.” —Publishers Weekly
 
“Entertainment fiction at its best.” —Booklist
 
“Wood creates genuine, engaging characters whose stories are fascinating.” —Library Journal

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Green City In The Sun should be made into a mini-series!
R. Prescott
The characters are fabulous and so well defined and the story, which is based on historical facts, is terrific.
R. Ochsman
Her characters bind you to them as you share their joys and hardships.
sandy807

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By sandy807 VINE VOICE on April 6, 2002
Format: Paperback
Every book I have read by Barbara Wood is an amazing blend of history, romance, complex relationships, and situations fraught with difficulties and problems to solve. Her characters bind you to them as you share their joys and hardships.
The fascinating setting in "Green City" is the early 1900s in Kenya, and involves the conflict between the rich British Treverton family who wants to establish a profitable plantation, and the neighboring tribal medicine woman who curses them for invading her people's land. Tragedies befall the Trevertons, and they struggle through the uprising of the native Kenyans as they defy the British. Complicating things is the romance between the medicine woman's black son and a young white Treverton woman.
Meanwhile, we follow the heroine, Doctor Grace Treverton, who, separating herself from the aspirations for wealth of the rest of her family, dedicates her life to serving the tribes by providing them with medical care and schooling. Yet even this big-hearted and wise woman is not immune to danger from the revolting tribes or from romantic turmoil involving a married man.
Full of romance, danger, and political and family intrigue, this 700-page book never lost my attention for a minute!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By majewski@erols.com on December 1, 1998
Format: Paperback
I found this book at a book fair in Washington D.C. I must admit that the only reason I bought it was because I needed 10 books in order to have one free. I do not regret my desicion. "Green City In The Sun" is an epic story of the birth of a nation: Kenya. With very likable characters, the story evolves around the Trevetons, a family divided by their ambitions. Only one obstacle will make their dreams dificult to fulfill: Mama Wachera who place a curse on the British family and becomes the spiritual leader of her people, the Kikuyu. Like in a Greek tragedy,all the members of the Treverton family die one by one, except Dr. Grace Treverton who dies of old age, and Debora who comes back to Kenya by Mama Wachera request to her deathbed. Beautiful story, intense plot and very charismatic characters makes this novel a masterpiece of fiction literature.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 16, 1997
Format: Paperback
"Green City in the Sun" is not a book about Africa. It is not about successful women in a male dominated environment. And it is not about culture and race. "Green City in the Sun" combines all these elements skillfullfy, strong and persuasive but tender and insightful. It makes you want to pack a bag and move to Kenya
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on March 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
If you've never seen Out of Africa or read any book about Kenya, this novel will give you a cursory overview of Kenyan history from 1919 to the present. It is easy to follow, its characters are uncomplicated, and it certainly never lacks for plot.

Using simple words and very short sentences, Wood presents the interconnected stories of three generations of two families--the African family of a shamba-living, fig-tree worshipping witch doctor and the veddy British Treverton family of aristocrats who have come to Kenya, taken over their land, and, not surprisingly, torn down the sacred fig tree to build a polo field. The British, as exemplified by Lord Treverton, are so arrogant and insensitive in the course of their decades of power, that the local population forms the guerilla Mau Mau secret society, committing all manner of murder and mayhem indiscriminately against both the British and those Kenyans who reject Mau Mau-style violence.

Eventually, of course, the Kenyans win their independence, but not before the reader is confronted with a series of other overtly dramatic and/or sentimental plot elements: a witch doctor putting a curse on the Treverton family, a wife steadfastly rejecting her husband's sexual advances from the beginning of her marriage, two mothers pretending for years that their own children do not exist, a lover hidden successfully for months in the garden, two passionate interracial affairs between "good" characters, a long-unsolved double murder, several suicides, secret betrayals, rapes, imprisonments, numerous love affairs both serious and casual, a gay relationship, and even the belief of a contemporary female doctor, who has straight hair and "creamy skin," that she is half Kikuyu. For good measure, there are also a couple of graphic sex scenes and a series of genital mutilations. The book is so unabashedly sensational and romantic that this reader found herself wishing the Mau Mau had been more successful. Mary Whipple
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Alberto Leon on December 29, 2006
Format: Paperback
I found this book at a book fair in Washington D.C. and the only reason I bought it was because I needed 10 books in order to have one free. I do not regret my desicion. "Green City In The Sun" is an epic story of the birth of a nation: Kenya. With very likable characters, the story evolves around the Trevetons, a family divided by their ambitions. Only one obstacle will make their dreams dificult to fulfill: Mama Wachera who places a curse on the British family and becomes the spiritual leader of her people, the Kikuyu. Like in a Greek tragedy,all the members of the Treverton family die one by one, except Dr. Grace Treverton who dies of old age, and Debora who comes back to Kenya by Mama Wachera request to her deathbed. Beautiful story, intense plot and very charismatic characters makes this novel a masterpiece of fiction literature.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By h.a. wheeler on November 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
Barbara Wood's deep research for her historical novels is once again evident in this rich story of Kenya under British rule and the relationships between the white coffee plantation families and the natives. The main character grows up on one of those plantations and becomes a physician in America who comes back to Kenya when she is summoned to the deathbed of an old native healer whose influence on her life is explored. Readers often lump Barbara Wood with female readers. Wrong! This book, like her "Dreaming", is 100 per cent for both genders.
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