The Lioness

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1960’s Serengeti, Hollywood starlet Katie Barlow, her husband, and a handful of friends head out on a photo safari. Within days of arriving, they’re taken hostage and not everyone will survive the kidnapping. Filled with meaningful history surrounding The US & Russia’s involved in Africa during the mid 1900’s, this is a story of the lengths we’ll go to survive.

This is such a unique story & I loved the way it’s narrated. I know some readers have a hard time with multiple narrators and perspectives, but I personally really enjoy getting to know more than one or two characters, which is why this works for me. Each chapter is seen from the perspective of a different character, so we have quite a few (10) view points to keep track of, which some readers may find this hard. However, I felt it really added color to the story and enjoyed getting to know the characters motives and getting a glimpse into their past. I also, thought it’s a bit sad, thought the way we experience each character’s death to be fairly intimate. The way Bohjalian chronicles the events of the safari and ties them in with the characters history and death was brilliantly executed.

The imagery though is what really made this story for me. The depictions of the animals and the landscape were beautiful. I loved that both Katie and Carmen had deep respect and fascination with nature. I’ve never been to Africa, but I have been on Safari in Indian to see Tigers, and Bohjalian completely captives the essence of a safari in my humble little opinion. As a note though and fair warning the depictions of violence (by both animals & man) while well done can be can be graphic.

I wouldn’t say this is a fast read but it is well written and really stuck with me after I finished reading. For some reason it’s categorized as a historical fiction / thriller, & while there is some suspense, I think it gives a false impression of what this story is about. For me it read more literary than anything as it does touch on quite a few topics in the 1960’s such as race, policies, fame, and more.

This is a fabulous story with complex characters and the perfect amount of suspense. I highly recommend reading this if you’re in need of a captivating drama.

AMAZON | GOODREADS |★★★★★

Hotel Magnifique  comes out April 5, 2022! Huge thank you to Razorbill & Penguin Teen for my advanced copy in exchange for my honest opinion.  If you liked this review please let me know either by commenting below or by visiting my instagram @speakingof_books.

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