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35 Reviews
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A STRONG WOMAN'S STRUGGLE DURING THE BIRTH OF A PROUD AFRICAN NATION
Kenya is a fascinating country. In some ways it is a young country having only gained its independence from Britain in the 1960s. Yet is is also at the heart of a region to which we may all owe our origins. In that respect it is the most ancient of places.

Jane Bwye's Breath of Africa is quintessentially a novel of place and time, set in Kenya from the 1950s,...
Published 16 months ago by r j askew

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3.0 out of 5 stars A good read
I enjoyed the book, with some exciting moments. I would like to know how true to life it is - I know it was based on experience in the country
Published 15 months ago by Mrs J A Steen


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rich and satisfying read, 11 Mar 2014
This review is from: Breath of Africa (Kindle Edition)
Breath of Africa tells the story of several decades in the life of Caroline, a white Kenyan, and Charles, her black Kenyan friend, together with their families and friends as their lives diverge and intersect several times. These decades also span Kenya’s transition from British rule to independence, and those huge and often chaotic changes are thoughtfully mirrored in the lives of the novel’s characters. The stark differences between the lives of the white and black communities and the racism of some white settlers during the colonial period; and the brutalities perpetrated by both sides in the Mau Mau rebellion are revealed frankly but without heavy-handed moralising. The characters’ lives develop and intersect in interesting ways, sensitively handled, and an undercurrent of menace runs through the novel in the person of Mwangi, who has put a Mau Mau curse upon the family of Caroline’s friend (and Charles’ sometime lover) Teresa. In part, the novel is also a hymn to Africa itself, whose scenery is lovingly described. All in all, a rich and satisfying novel on several levels.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoying reading it on my iPad no end, 13 Dec 2013
By 
Mrs. Marylyn J. Barnes "mjb" (Mauritius) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Breath of Africa (Kindle Edition)
A well written easily readable novel enjoyable for anyone, just such a pity Kindle books can not be sent to others - correct me if I am wrong. However it is a must for anyone who has lived in Kenya - very few can live there and not be touched by life with all it's difficulties and joys. This book shows them all
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Straight from the heart, 27 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Breath of Africa (Kindle Edition)
This is the moving tale of Kenya's emergence as a young, independent country; history and everyday life rolled into one, as they so often are.
I have never been to Africa, but this absorbing story took me straight there - heat, landscape, beauty, old and new ways of life, all written straight from the heart. And I heartily recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating insight into life during Kenya's troubled past., 12 Aug 2013
This review is from: Breath of Africa (Paperback)
A thoroughly good read based on first-hand experience of growing up and living in Kenya. The characters are all real people and we are privileged to experience such an insight into the birth of Kenya with all its troubles and intrigues as the plot unfolds. Jane's descriptions of the sights and smells of Africa took me back there. Why not go there too!!

[ASIN:1908910798 Breath of Africa]]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, 15 July 2013
This review is from: Breath of Africa (Paperback)
I've never been to Africa. I would like to but I feel that I was there because I read this book. It was a challenging and heart-breaking time in Kenya and I lived through it. Jane takes you into the minds of the colonialists and the Africans and you feel split... that must have been how it was for the whites born there. I was in tears at times. Her understanding of the brutal ties that bind those who make oaths, who cast spells and end up paying the price was stunning. I would recommend it to anyone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In a far off land..., 24 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Breath of Africa (Kindle Edition)
Jane Bwye writes beautifully evocative descriptions of the Kenyan landscape. The heat and dust got to me quite easily as I learned about Kenya in the late 1960s and early 1970s - bringing back vague memories of the Kenyatta period as reported in the newspapers of the era. Lasting and loving relationships of different kinds are explored within the book, some tragic and some happier- racial and cultural differences having a huge bearing on the success of such bondings. The theme of tribal curses runs through the novel but is not depicted in great depth, though the effects on those who believe in a curse are long lasting and poignant. The dilemma of the born and bred in Kenya whites, who want to remain after independence, is sensitively portrayed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard to put down, 10 April 2013
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This review is from: Breath of Africa (Kindle Edition)
A great read. Very hard to put down. This book captures the true spirit of Africa, the beauty and the darkness. Unexpected ending!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real sense of Africa, 9 April 2013
This review is from: Breath of Africa (Paperback)
This is a real page turner. A well researched novel that successfully weaves an interesting plot against the backdrop of Kenyan history and social structure. What is very noticeable is the author's passion for Kenya, that is revealed through her lavish description of this beautiful country and its people. A very enjoyable read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Transported to a Different World, 5 April 2013
This review is from: Breath of Africa (Paperback)
Breath of Africa has a great dramatic opening in an unusual setting. I could feel the exhilaration of the moment within a threatening scenario with two girls illicitly out at night. Good punchy dialogue and tight action adds to the drama. A captivating introduction to the politics and society of the times. A wonderful picture of life emerges as the threat of the Mau Mau uprising rumbles away in the background.

An intriguing blend of hierarchies battle it out based on skin colour, social status and sex. Such a complex melange of social forces interplay, and the author shows a thorough understanding of the times.

Breath of Africa is a wonderful tale of interesting and well-drawn characters going through a time of great social change. This is a culturally rich novel with some fascinating vocabulary which the glossary helps us understand. I learned a lot about Kenya in the 1950's while enjoying a cracking read. The quality of the writing is excellent and the style is punchy and riveting. A very worthwhile and rewarding read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Na quisha! Sante Sana Jane., 1 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Breath of Africa (Kindle Edition)
A very good read. Anyone from East Africa Will enjoy this book. So many memories were relived. I'd recommend it. :)
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Breath of Africa
Breath of Africa by J L Bwye (Paperback - 5 Mar 2013)
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