Book Review – A Guide to the Birds of East Africa – A Novel

May 31, 2011  By: Gretchen

A Guide to the Birds of East Africa by Nicholas Drayson is a thoroughly charming read. It is about a widower named Mr. Malik and his unannounced love of another widower, Rose Mbikwa. They live in Nairobi and met during a weekly educational bird walk of which Rose was the leader.

The story gets interesting when Mr. Malik finally decides to do something about his secret crush; he plans to ask Rose to a ball. Trouble arises when his childhood nemesis makes an appearance and announces his intent to ask Rose to the same event.

Amusement ensues as a wager is made to determine which gentleman be allowed to ask Ms. Mbikwa to the ball. I won’t reveal anything else so as to avoid any spoilers. Suffice it to say, it’s a very satisfactory story. It paints a vivid picture of Nairobi as well as many other parts of Kenya. It also introduces the reader to a very endearing character in Mr. Malik.

Somewhat in the tradition and feel of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, but with its own special voice and characters; this book is sure to please.