Monday, August 19, 2019

Out of Darkness, Shining Light by Petina Gappah

Dr. David Livingstone spent the last years of his life looking for the head of the Nile River.  He had purchased slaves to go with him (he freed them after he bought them) and he had various nationalities in the mix.  Not all of them got along, but the majority respected the doctor.  When he became ill and died, they decided to take him to the coast so he could be buried at home.  That was 1,500 miles away.

Scribner sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published September 10th.

The description of getting his body ready for the journey is detailed and a little morbid.  They've lost members of their party to illnesses in the past but as they travel, they find themselves losing people to accidents.  But are they really accidents?

Many of the tribes they run across on their way ask for goods in exchange for their traverse.  Before long they have no goods and no food.  When they find a generous chief, they are thankful.

Not everyone makes it.  And not everybody lives happily ever after, but it's better than being a slave.

While this is a fictional account, it reads like living history.  Life was hard back then, even harder than now.

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