Latest addition to the bookshelves of the leading book shop in Peasedown St. John!
I Dreamed of Africa by Kuki Gallmann
London: Viking, 1991
Hardback with Dust Jacket over Black boards with Gilt titling to Spine
Illustrated by way of: Glossary; Black & White Photographs; Colour Photographs;
From the cover: As a child Kuki Gallmann dreamed of Africa. Born near Venice, she grew up enchanted by the sound of words. Stories of the Sahara fired her imagination and, like the swallows in her grandfathers garden, she felt the urge to fly south.
At the age of twenty-five, divorced, crippled by a devastating accident, she left to convalesce in Kenya with her friend Paolo Gallmann, whom she was in due course to marry. So begins a journey that takes her to the extremities of human experience.
In Kenya she and Paolo explore lakes, deserts and the tropical coastline before buying a vast ranch on the Laikipia plateau. They hunt lion, buffalo and once to their horror an elephant. The years bring a succession of discoveries and delights, but increasingly they are interspersed with dangers and premonitions. When her life with Paolo ends as violently as it started Kuki is left with her twelve-year-old son Emanuele, an unborn baby and 90,000 acres of Africa to look after.
There follow years of recovery and hope the birth of Paolos golden-haired daughter Sveva; the healing companionship of new men; the emergence of Emanuele from a boy fond of hunting and fishing into a youth who loves motorbikes and girls, but who has a passion that is to prove fatal snakes. Few mothers, if any, have written so movingly of a sons death.
The triumph of this continuously enthralling book lies in its final chapters, which epitomize the victory of friendship, will, courage and imagination over the cruellest tragedies. Through her dedication to the hills, gorges, elephant herds and tribespeople of Laikipia, the devotion of her friends and love of her daughter, the author has forged a new life for herself and founded a living memorial to her husband and her son. Both her foundation and her astonishing story are without parallel even in the stormy and beautiful continent of Africa.
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