Our handsome edition of Elspeth Huxley’s much-loved memoir of her childhood in Kenya will soon go out of print and we won’t be reissuing it so, if you’ve been thinking about adding this delightful book (bound in burnt orange cloth with jungle green endpapers) to your collection, now’s the time . . .
When Elspeth Huxley’s family arrived in the dusty lanes of Nairobi in 1913, British East Africa was still a kind of Garden of Eden, filled with an abundance of wild creatures and virtually untouched by the destructive hand of man. It was also a land of dreams, a place for the recouping of lost fortunes by those who hadn’t managed things very well elsewhere.
Elspeth Huxley evokes both the harshness and the beauty of the life that, against all the odds, her family managed to create, of the mutually dependent society of those early white settlers, and of the effect of Africa and its native people on the imagination of a solitary and self-sufficient small child. The Flame Trees of Thika paints an unforgettably vivid and poignant picture of the forging of a world, and its dissolution in the tragedy of the First World War.