“The Lioness” Review

The Lioness is Chris Bohjalian’s terrific new book set in the African Serengeti region in the 1960’s. (It has already been picked up for an adaptation for television.) This novel is very violent and bloody, but even though I don’t usually like that in a novel, I really enjoyed The Lioness. This novel might not be for everyone, but it is well-written and the characters are terrific!

Katie Barstow, Hollywood starlet, has just married David Hill, owner of an art gallery. She decides to celebrate their wedding by inviting a small group of friends on an African safari . . . and she is paying all expenses . Theirs is supposed to be a “luxury photo safari” but it quickly becomes a terrifying kidnapping. From the Prologue, it is clear that not many will survive, and there are two enemies – the kidnappers and the unforgiving Serengeti land.

The descriptions of Africa in this novel are so vivid and fascinating – I felt like I was actually seeing the region in my head. Beware though – the kidnappers and other dangers in the novel are very real and very violent. Some passages had me grimacing, even though I absolutely needed to keep reading because I wanted to know who (if anyone) survives and who was behind the kidnapping. Really glad I stuck with this novel!

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