Customer Reviews


26 Reviews
5 star:
 (11)
4 star:
 (10)
3 star:
 (5)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic book - ideal for any visitor to Kenya
This book is a well written and beautifully documented journey through both time and the lands of Kenya.

The book is very well researched and clearly shows the authors love of her country and home. Not only are we treated to a rich and interesting commentary of Kenya's past (mainly white) history, but the troubles it has caused in modern Kenya, including...
Published 7 months ago by Moon

versus
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More about the murder
I found this book is not easy to read at times. I think the writer tends to meander through the descriptions of the houses once occupied by the European farmers. One minute we are at the house called Clouds, once the home of Idina, the wife of Lord Errol and then on to other residences owned by people who also carved out a living and strived to exist and then back to...
Published 9 months ago by warthog


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More about the murder, 10 July 2013
By 
warthog (Wales /England) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Ghosts of Happy Valley: Searching for the Lost World of Africa's Infamous Aristocrats (Hardcover)
I found this book is not easy to read at times. I think the writer tends to meander through the descriptions of the houses once occupied by the European farmers. One minute we are at the house called Clouds, once the home of Idina, the wife of Lord Errol and then on to other residences owned by people who also carved out a living and strived to exist and then back to Clouds. I find that I am confused by the number and names of people she finds occupies the houses now. The map she included gives us an excellent idea of the kind of distance these people had to cover to get to any kind of contact with the outer world. I learned a great deal about the sad plight of the beautiful colobus monkey and her friend Simon who's conservation work is so important.

Juliet Barnes puts forward some already tried and tested ideas as to who killed Lord Errol. Many of the theories we have already read about in other books like 'White Mischief' or 'The Life and Death of Lord Errol'. Somebody must know something but we may never know. Julian Fellows, who did an hour long documentary on the murder said at the end that he knew who did it but would not tell! Perhaps Juliet Barnes ought to confront him and try and get some more information from him. The book has many interesting moments,especially when she meets some of the old Mau Mau fighters. I would recommend this as a good read and well worth buying as it has some good details about the type of life these pioneers led which was not easy, yet they stayed and loved the country so much
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic book - ideal for any visitor to Kenya, 6 Sep 2013
This review is from: The Ghosts of Happy Valley: Searching for the Lost World of Africa's Infamous Aristocrats (Hardcover)
This book is a well written and beautifully documented journey through both time and the lands of Kenya.

The book is very well researched and clearly shows the authors love of her country and home. Not only are we treated to a rich and interesting commentary of Kenya's past (mainly white) history, but the troubles it has caused in modern Kenya, including corruption, de-forestation and rapid urbanisation.

It is a must for any traveler thinking of visiting Kenya, or in fact any one with an interest into colonialism or African history.

A labour of love which is a interesting, and often emotional read for all.

Only critisism is that a table of houses and owners would have been useful because I kept getting confused who everyone is!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE GHOSTS OF HAPPY VALLEY, 4 July 2013
By 
Dr. S. S. Nagi (united kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Ghosts of Happy Valley: Searching for the Lost World of Africa's Infamous Aristocrats (Hardcover)
This book was first published in 2013, has 303 pages, 30 chapters, 46 photos and 1 map. The book is dedicated to 'Solomon'. JULIET BARNES was born, raised and schooled in Kenya and then went to St Andrew's University, Scotland to read English. She now lives with her 2 children beside Lake ELEMENTEITA in the Great Rift Valley of Kenya. HAPPY VALLEY (in the 1920's to 1930's) name was given to 'Wanjohi Valley' in Kenya Highlands, between the Aberdares(Nyandarua Range-13,120ft) and the Kipipiri Mountain-10,987ft, where rich whites settled. Barnes goes to find out what was left of these settlers homes, farms and lives. The Railway station of GIL GIL(relentless dusty wind) was the access to Happy Valley. Now-a-days, it is a run down and scruffy roadside town.
So in the year 2000, Solomon, a kikuyu guides Barnes to the Happy Valley. Using her old land rover on the rough roads, they see old settlers houses and farms, now rundown. Some have vanished, some intact and some now haunted! They visit 'Clouds'(Mawingo) - Lady Idina's house and 'Slains,', still mystified by the unsolved murder of Lord Erroll. Barnes discovers love triangles, drug additions, depression and even suicide, amongst the so called 'happy valley' settlers, including Alice Silverthorne(de-Janze or de-Trafford). Happy Valley had become a 'Problem Valley'.
With help from Solomon, Barnes struggles on the bad roads and visits(over 10 years) what remains of other farms and houses of the Valley, their flowering gardens, fruit trees and lawns. Now the locals are busy cutting and burning the trees and the rivers are going dry and the trout and the wildlife have gone. Some names remain - 'Happy valley school' and some 'MAU MAU' veterans, in these beautiful natural surroundings. The only totally intact old house with well kept gardens, was 'Ramsdens Kipipiri House'.
Some say 'Happy Valley was named after people had crossed baron Rift Valley and saw this beautiful valley which made them happy. Others felt, it could have been named after village of happy valley in Essex, England! All before the happy valley crowd moved in. This book ends with interviews with old Mau Mau men, stories of whites who may have helped them and author's quest to find the truth about Lord Erroll's murder.
This book goes into detailed history of 'Happy Valley' and what remains of it now. The artist's map shows houses and farms and who lived in them. Pictures show how some farms and houses were and what they look like now. By 1950's old happy valley crowd had faded away and the kikuyu moved into the area and some wealthy African politicians with their other business interests. Most of us as tourists will never see these places in Kenya, which makes it more interesting to read this book.
Some other books of interest are:-
(1) West with the Night, Markham 1942
(2) Out of Africa, Blixen 1964
(3) Forks and Hope, Huxley 1964
(4) Happy Valley, Best 1979
(5) White Mischief, Fox 1984
(6) The man Whom Women Loved, Aschen 1987
(7) Silence will Speak, Trzebinski 1988
(8) Child of Happy Valley, Carberry 1999( Juanita Carberry died of lung Cancer, aged 88, on 27.7.2013, in Clapham.)
(9) The Truth Behind Happy Valley Murder, Trzebinski 2000
(10)The Bolter, Osborne 2008
Having born in Kenya, I found this book interesting.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 10 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Having lived there, I always love reading about Africa. However, I was slightly disappointed by this book. It did not add anything else to solving the murder and I think everyone knows that the houses belonging to the Happy Valley gang are now sad ruins. So nothing new there either. I did enjoy the detail about saving the monkeys and I hope that people listen.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book I've read in years, 19 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Ghosts of Happy Valley: Searching for the Lost World of Africa's Infamous Aristocrats (Hardcover)
This book was hard to put down.
The author has managed to bring fresh life to the subject by dealing with the current happenings in the area.
Like other books on similiar subjects the author does not seek to glamourise the past history thus making it so much more interesting.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Happy Valley, 9 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Ghosts of Happy Valley: Searching for the Lost World of Africa's Infamous Aristocrats (Hardcover)
another story of the Kenya that I knew and the people in it. Although the names of places have changed since living there
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bit of a slow burner but stick with it., 21 Jan 2014
By 
Michael Mukasa (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Ghosts of Happy Valley: Searching for the Lost World of Africa's Infamous Aristocrats (Hardcover)
The story started well and it flowed well in the first third of the book, but it sort of lost its way in the next third. It seemed like the authour had lost the thread a bit. Then it picks up towards the end with some startling revelations about THAT murder.
Worth a read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting, if rather confusing read!, 20 Jan 2014
This review is from: The Ghosts of Happy Valley: Searching for the Lost World of Africa's Infamous Aristocrats (Hardcover)
I love books about Africa, especially Kenya, but found this one rather confusing. It started off well and the idea is good, but I felt that Barnes jumped from person to person and house to house far too much. She has obviously researched the subject well, and it is interesting to hear about the people who now inhabit these almost derelict properties and how they are growing crops in the once beautifully kept gardens. Worth reading.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars unHappy Valley, 9 Jan 2014
By 
J. Merry "caesars826" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Ghosts of Happy Valley: Searching for the Lost World of Africa's Infamous Aristocrats (Hardcover)
Well written and informative.Only criticism is too much detail on the old houses.
The question remains - who killed Lord Erroll ? Someone knows. !!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not so happy valley, 6 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Ghosts of Happy Valley: Searching for the Lost World of Africa's Infamous Aristocrats (Hardcover)
You really need to have read "white Mischief" first to appreciate this book, Juliet Barnes lives in Kenya and has often wondered if any of the wonderful houses which the band of British ex pats living in Kenya's Happy valley in the 1930's, who scandalized britain with their behaviour had survived. I had wondered that myself and after all the publicity which the book and film garnered wondered why some enterprizing soul was not doing tours or cashing in on the fame. Barnes goes in search of the most well known houses , it is a sad tale of Kenya's descent into poverty and corruption, loss of land and respect for the local wildlife, the houses prove very difficult to find and have often been left as ruins, she finds servants who had worked with some of the ex pats, now very old men and women. This also becomes a tale of the mau mau uprising, trying desperately to get the British to leave their land and how neighbour was set against neighbour and innocent people became involved in this struggle. It turns out to be quite a bleak book and quite depressing when you see the houses in their prime and how they are now just hanging on, i am glad Juliet made this search ( it was done over 10 years ) as I am sure these houses will soon disappear for ever taking their tales and the history of another time with them.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First
ARRAY(0xac7b75e8)

This product

The Ghosts of Happy Valley: Searching for the Lost World of Africa's Infamous Aristocrats
11.55
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews