Monday, April 9, 2012
Review: Promise the Night
Promise the Night
by Michaela MacColl
Beryl moved with her family to the highlands of Kenya as a toddler. Not long after, her mother and brother returned to England, abandoning her with her rough though loving father. MacColl's account begins when a leopard steals into Beryl's hut and attacks her dog—the child leaping from her bed to give chase. Though she loses the leopard in the night, the next morning, she and her new friend, a Nandi boy, Kibii, find the dog still alive and save it. Later she insists on being part of the hunt for the leopard. Young Beryl wants nothing more than to be a warrior, a murani, and to be able to leap higher than her own head. Her jumping skills progress apace, but young white girls, no matter how determined, cannot become part of the Nandi tribe. Her relationship with Kibii's father, the wise Arap Maina, along with a growing awareness of the consequences of her actions, help lead her into a more mature—though still wildly impulsive and daring—life.
Okay, please promise me that you will ignore the weird cover and title on this book!! I *really* liked this one.
It is the story of Beryl Markham's wild childhood in Africa, with the chapters interspersed with actual journal entries and interviews that Beryl did as a grown woman when she became a famous pilot. It is exciting and interesting and made me want to go to Africa.
Beryl's interaction with the local Nandi tribe were also interesting and funny. They had a bunch of different customs and Beryl didn't really care how they did things...just how she wanted to do things. She was kind of a brat sometimes, but you couldn't help but admire her bravery.
Well written and very engaging! Please give this one a shot!!