I sat beside my mother, only a little less fortified in a pith helmet and a starched cotton dress.
Out of Africa has been haunting me since I read it and LizF's comment about The Flame Trees of Thika by Elspeth Huxley inspired me to seek it out. Happily this coincided with a visit to the lovely big Waterstones in Brighton which had a copy on the shelves.
Elspeth Huxley's account of a childhood in Kenya is lively and extremely well-written. I loved the dry wit of her father Robin and her fearless mother, Tilly. There was also the aristocratic Lettice, completely out of place in Africa with her two spoilt Pekingese dogs Chang and Zena who sit on silk cushions all day until poor Chang meets his demise when a hungry leopard snatches him from the veranda.
Published in 1959 The Flame Trees of Thika documents Elspeth's experiences as a British child growing up in Africa and the hardships her parents faced as settlers as well as their remarkable resilience and optimism.