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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sad sad story
This a story about the life of Joan Root which ends with her violent death, murdered in her home. I saw a TV programme about Joan Root's murder soon after her death and when I discovered this book last month I hesitated before buying it. The story begins optimistically when the Joan and Alan, blessed with youth and good looks meet and marry in the privileged white...
Published on 16 Sep 2011 by Noel

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3.0 out of 5 stars Good read
This was an interesting read of the recent history of Kenya and of a great woman pioneer. The writing was a little dull and lacked feeling, but the story is good.
Published 6 months ago by Sally Svendsen


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sad sad story, 16 Sep 2011
By 
Noel (Belfast, UK) - See all my reviews
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This a story about the life of Joan Root which ends with her violent death, murdered in her home. I saw a TV programme about Joan Root's murder soon after her death and when I discovered this book last month I hesitated before buying it. The story begins optimistically when the Joan and Alan, blessed with youth and good looks meet and marry in the privileged white Kenyan community. They build a life together in the wildlife wonderland on the shore of Lake Naivasha and become pre-eminent in Alan's field of wildlife film making.

However there is trouble in paradise. The glory of the career dims when they are unable to have a family; Alan is eventually drawn away from Joan and they divorce; the paradise that was Naivasha is invaded by alien horticulture and wildlife poaching which destroys the lake ecosystem and its dependent wildlife; the response to that only worsens the ever more poisonous relationships; violence and murder become common-place and eventually claims Joan as its most high profile victim.

Joan lived and died in the vain hope that Alan would return one day and he did but only after she is murdered.
So be prepared for a compelling read but there is no feel good ending to this story.

This is the third book I have read about Africa in recent weeks and the theme running through all of them is of the grinding poverty of the native African people; the degradation of the environment and the destruction of wildlife. Very sad but we need to know. Joan tried to do something to counter all of these and paid with her life.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A woman with outstanding courage ., 29 Sep 2011
By 
warthog (Wales /England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Wildflower: The Extraordinary Life and Mysterious Murder of Joan Root (Paperback)
This is one of these books that one cannot put down. The sheer courage and determination of this woman never ceases to amaze. She risked her life for her beliefs and paid the price. The book successfully describes the fine balance between progress in a developing country and the downside which she witnessed daily from her home on Lake Naivasha. On the one hand the importance of the flower industry, which brought employment to the area but over population and pollution meant destruction of the natural environment.

Her incredible life with her husband Alan Roots brought her both universal recognition and happiness. The sadness she felt when the marriage broke up must have been devastating for her. The book vividly describes her many acts of courage when she toured with her husband throughout Africa. It is an exciting read from beginning to end. Having spent a couple of nights on Lake Naivasha I can quite understand why she did not want to leave. It is an unforgettable place.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating read, 18 Jun 2012
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Once I got into this it was hard to put it down, although the Americanisms of the writer jarred a little to begin with. The photos made it even more interesting, though as I read it on my Kindle it wasn't easy to 'flick' back to look at them again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unforgettable tale of wonder, courage and tragedy, 26 Dec 2011
This review is from: Wildflower: The Extraordinary Life and Mysterious Murder of Joan Root (Paperback)
I'm currently on holiday in Kenya and read this book as it references many of the places we're visiting. I couldn't put this book down and I have since been totally consumed by Joan Root's incredible life and untimely death. This is a story of her amazing bravery, her compassion, her many skills and her dedication to the causes that were important to her. A remarkable and inspirational person who used her life in a purposeful and beneficial way to help others and to protect the wildlife she admired and loved. I'm not sure how I feel about Alan Root....I can't help but feel that he let Joan down and I feel so sorry that this remarkable woman was neglected in the later years on her life when she needed his support most. Overall, a brilliant read - well written and very thought provoking. Cannot recommend enough.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable read!, 6 Aug 2010
By 
M. Alexander (Lisbon, Portugal) - See all my reviews
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After spending many years in Kenya in the 70's, I just bought this book as a memory booster of my time spent there.
What a read! Not only is it very well written, but it is almost like a thriller & I just couldn't turn the pages quick enough. What an extraordinary life Jean Root had, with so much joy, but also a lot of heartache & a terribly tragic end.
But above all, it shows her passion for life & her dedication for her beloved Kenya.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating story, 26 May 2014
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C. Smith "Buzzybee" (UK) - See all my reviews
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Joan Root had an amazing life in East Africa. A good read, will order copy for my sister who grew up in Kenya.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good read, 22 Jan 2014
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This was an interesting read of the recent history of Kenya and of a great woman pioneer. The writing was a little dull and lacked feeling, but the story is good.
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5.0 out of 5 stars In depth understanding of wild life in Africa, 15 Aug 2013
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A wonderful and compassionate story of the life of Joan Root and her accomplishments with her husband Alan in filming and documenting wildlife in Africa, and latterly her own endeavours for conservation. A book that I will certainly read again.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Depressing and enlightening, 26 Jun 2013
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What an extraordinary woman! She had a remarkable life, and death, the latter embroiled in the tangles of corruption and the competing demands of white people, black people and wildlife in Kenya.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book, 13 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Wildflower: The Extraordinary Life and Mysterious Murder of Joan Root (Paperback)
Anyone with a passion for Africa and for conservation should read this. It brought back memories of the sadness and beauty of that Continent.
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