Mists of the Serengeti is not the typical book I would ditch my TBR pile for. However, after a friend gifted me this book and I saw the overwhelming number of positive reviews, I decided to jump in. This book had everything I look for in a story– beautiful writing, plenty of emotions, educational moments, and love! What more could a girl ask for?
“…we’re all connected in strange, mysterious ways. Pull a thread here and a life unravels there.”
Normally, I find stories set in Africa outside of my realm of interest. I’ve never been very inspired by African culture, environment, or history. I’m happy to say, Mists of the Serengeti broadened my horizons in ways I wasn’t prepared for. First, this novel completely caught me off guard by featuring albinism. The strangest coincidence happened the day I started reading this book. I was watching television with my husband and he pointed out an Albino basketball player in one of the games he was watching. Later in the afternoon, he switched it to an episode of Cops (yes, interesting TV choices that day) where one of the police officers was an Albino man. While I have personally seen a couple of people with albinism in my life, I had never given the condition much thought. I started wondering what struggles people of African decent may face if their skin is white, and decided to start my own research. At this point, I had yet to reach the description of Scholastica walking out of the shadows in the story
I was also inspired by the beautiful way Leylah Attar described the landscape of Africa. In my mind’s eye, I’ve always pictured Africa as a barren and desolate plate. Obviously that can’t be the case for all of Africa, because of the numerous animals it is home to. Mists of the Serengeti helped me to learn about the Great Rift Valley, something I was unaware of prior to reading. I was excited to virtually discover such a stunning landscape!
Before I get too far ahead of myself, I should give a brief synopsis of the story. The novel begins from the perspective of Jack, enjoying a regular day with his daughter when a life altering moment occurs, forever changing the man Jack is. Shortly thereafter, the story is told from Rodel (Ro)’s point of view as she heads to Africa to deal with the aftermath of her sister’s untimely death. As readers may foresee, Jack and Ro meet each other along the way and begin a relationship. However, this relationship is not one readers may come to expect. Ro is met with resistance by Jack from the get-go by her mere presence. However, this collision of personalities bodes for an interesting plot that will give readers all the feels!
This was my first Leylah Attar novel, though I have wanted to read The Paper Swan for some time. For her beautiful writing, the depth of the story, interesting characters, learning experiences, and the Author’s Note I could give this book no less than 5 stars. I can’t wait to get acquainted with more of her books soon.