The Forgotten Pioneer: Review

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I’ve read quite a few books about Africa, with many different subtopics. Because of my interest in African history I picked this book up from NetGalley thinking it would be a book I would enjoy, boy was I wrong.

The writing was extremely lacking in this book. It’s very obvious that the author isn’t really an author, rather just a girl writing about her family history/life. I found myself getting annoyed with the lackadaisical descriptions and storytelling.

The information in this book was also relatively confusing (although the confusion was due to poor writing). There was a certain section at the beginning of the book that really stood out to me as poor word choice for a description.

Lions were the cause of many problems, but most worryingly while building the bridge across the Tsavo River in 1898 they acquired a taste for eating people, with many Indian railway workers being killed in this way.

Not only is that just a poorly written sentence, but they way the author writes it makes it seem as if because of Tsavo all lions in Africa acquired a taste for human flesh, which wasn’t the case.

The storyline itself is also not very exciting. This book is literally just a history of one family, how they set up shop in Africa and lived there. The only part that I found genuinely interesting was the information on the Mau Mau rebellion… But even that was somewhat disappointing. The author did a poor job of conveying actual emotion in telling of how “it was terrifying time for white families”, she just states the facts in a way that seems almost like you’re reading from a textbook (but with even less emotion than a textbook offers).

Overall, I found myself extremely disappointed with this book. I would highly recommend skipping this book as there are many other books on African Pioneers which are much better written.

I received this book for review purposes via NetGalley.

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