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Place of Reeds [Paperback]

Caitlin Davies
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
RRP: £7.99
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Book Description

4 Sep 2006
24-year-old Caitlin Davies was studying in America when she met and fell in love with the enigmatic Ron. When Ron returned to his home in Botswana, Caitlin joined him in Maun, the 'Place of Reeds', and the two began their lives together. Eager to absorb all that Setswana culture had to offer, Caitlin found herself becoming part of Ron's extended family, falling in love with both the country and its people. Eventually, with the birth of their daughter, Caitlin's happiness seemed complete. But the Botswana of the 1990s was changing. AIDS and urbanization had taken their toll, violence was on the increase. When, with her child in her arms, Caitlin was brutally attacked, Ron's family closed ranks and Caitlin found herself ostracized by the very people she had grown to love. Passionate, hilarious, dramatic and heartbreaking in turn, "Place of Reeds" is a story of the clash of cultures, the inflexibility of belief and traditions. It's a story about women - about Caitlin and her daughter, about Eliah and Madintwa, Ron's formidable mother and grandmother. Most of all, it's a story about one woman's courage, resilience - and ultimately, survival.

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Place of Reeds + The Ghost of Lily Painter
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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; New edition edition (4 Sep 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743492277
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743492270
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 19.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 427,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Caitlin Davies was born in London in 1964. She spent 12 years in Botswana as a teacher and journalist and many of her books are set in the Okavango Delta, including a memoir Place of Reeds. Her more recent novels are The Ghost of Lily Painter, a fictional account of the arrest and execution of two Edwardian baby farmers, and Family Likeness about the fate of 'war babies' born to African American GI fathers during World War Two. Her recent non-fiction books are Taking the Waters: A Swim Around Hampstead Heath, a celebration of 200 years of glorious outdoor bathing, and an illustrated history of the world famous Camden Lock Market, both published by Frances Lincoln. Her latest book is Downstream: a history and celebration of swimming the River Thames, to be published by Aurum in April 2015, and a novel called The Wild Swimmer about a Victorian diver and 'champion lady swimmer of the world'. She is also a teacher and journalist, and was a regular feature writer for The Independent's education and careers supplement. In September 2014 she became a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at the University of Westminster, Harrow. Her website is

Product Description


Davies's prose is elegant and spare, her descriptions of the landscape are evocative -- Sunday Times, June 5, 2005

Her moving story encompasses the spectrum of human emotion, and is hilarious and poignant in equal measure -- Waterstone's Books Quarterly, June, 2005

devastating -- Evening Standard, June 1, 2005 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Caitlin Davies lives in north London with her daughter, Ruby. She is a freelance journalist, regularly writing education features for the Independent.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Place of Reeds 10 July 2005
By A Customer
This is a remarkable true story of one woman's courage, to brave against the odds after a violent attack in her own home in Maun, Botswana. It is told in a straight forward fashion with a huge amount of dignity. Caitlin has no element of bitterness or resentment in her writing of the events which unfold. It is a reflection of the utter strength and determination she had to carry on after the attack. Caitlin creates a beautiful realistic scene of the wildlife and landscape and it transported me back to when I spent a few years in Africa.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A captivating and heartfelt story 30 Jun 2005
Caitlin's in-depth descriptions of this time in her life spent living in Botswana absolutely draws you in when you first begin to read this wonderful story. She's refreshingly frank about the things that make her surroundings wonderful, but also the things in Botswana that got on her last nerve. Her story goes from joy at new love and a new family, to personal disaster, and triumph in overcoming some of the obstacles that she faced. This book is very well written and I would strongly recommend this book to anyone who loves a captivating read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The feel of modern Botswana 9 Aug 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was recommended to me.I have an interest in Botswana having visited there about the time the book starts. The book gives a strong feel for the country- particularly Maun- and some of its problems. The difficulties of inter cultural marriages are also faced by the author. The shocking rape is dealt with in as matter of fact way possible for a victim.Well worth reading.
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