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The Flame Trees of Thika: Memories of an African Childhood (Classic, 20th-Century, Penguin) Paperback – February 1, 2000
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Other notable characters included Elspeth's neighbors the beautiful, Lattice and her formal husband, Hereward, the kindly Ian, their house guest, who was in love with Lattice; Juma, their Swahili cook, Sammy their Masai/Kikuyu headman and Njombo, the Kikuju laborer's spokesman.
Huxley has the rare ability to understand and convey the culture and viewpoint of both the European colonial settlers and the Kikuyu and Masai people. The materialistic Europeans were critical of the nomadic Kikuyus who do not aspire to change, tame, possess or improve the countryside. The Kikuya, in turn, were mystified at the white man's sense of property ownership and the concept of theft. For the Kikuyu helping yourself to the possessions of the white man "was no more robbing than to take the honey from wild bees."
At the heart of the story is the beauty and the challenge of life in Africa in the early 20th Century.
It's strongest elements include a deep sensitivity to the travails of animal life up against white hunters and farmers, very full accounts of the Kikuyu people and their rivalries with other Africans and it also paints a vivid portrait of pioneering planters and their servants in the shadow of the Great War.
The vantage of the book is greater than that of Out of Africa by Blixen being a less personal tale. it is a faithful, sometimes harrowing tale culled from an excellent store of memories representing times and scenes gone by. Huxley is not short on romance and tragedy.
This book is an ideal companion to those interested in the British Empire and African anthropology. For naturalists it provides breathtaking accounts of white hunters and their quarry as a retrospective commentary on man's abuse of Africa's wild heritage. Huxley writes quietly, sensitively and impartially providing philosophic insights in a heuristic and magical narrative. Always compelling, this is an important primary text.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Age of the book is very apparent due to the old fashioned writing style. As an historical memoir it is interesting but not sufficient for me to finish the book.Published 3 months ago by Jeffrey Sinclair
a beautiful edition. will make a lovely gift. paper, pictures, paintings and story are marvelous.Published 6 months ago by medorz
It was beautifully written but more like a diary than a story. Gave you a wonderful picture of what it was like to live in Africa during those early days of British colonization. Read morePublished 8 months ago by CarinChar
This is mostly a book for young teen girls replete with nature discoveries and African bush culture discoveries. All is told with wondering wide- open, innocent eyes. Read morePublished 9 months ago by jean chases