Book Review – Rules of the Wild

August 31, 2011  By: Gretchen

This book is set in expat East Africa.  The main character Esme visits Africa and decides not to leave.  She settles in suburban Nairobi and builds something of a life there.  Little has changed with racial attitudes in the expat community since colonial times and Esme and her contemporaries mostly lead lives of leisure and often excess.

When she meets a local journalist named Hunter, her ease dissapates.  She is faced with the uncomfortable realities just outside her door that Hunter has witnessed during the war in Somalia and the genocide in Rwanda.  Esme can no longer close her eyes to the larger goings on in Africa.  She also loses her heart to the journalist.

The story follows the complex social web in Nairobi and the intensity of Esme’s relationships.  The book is very engaging and the language evokes a strong feeling of place.  The author captures the incredible natural beauty of Africa effortlessly with her prose.  Highly recommended.