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on 20 March 2017
A brilliant book very well written and brings so many memories back of Kenya and Africa as a whole, of the time....i.e. 1950s and 60s....well worth a read!
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on 15 July 2015
Fantastic start to this amazing trilogy, well written, great characters, atmospheric setting, highly recommended
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VINE VOICEon 19 January 2007
This book follows the life of three girls and their familes from the age of 13 to 21 during the 1960s, and that in itself is intriguing. The twist is that it is set mainly in Kenya - after the Mao-mao, and just as Kenya gained its independence, which takes it from intriguing to fascinating! The descriptions of Kenya, the wildlife and the countryside are amazing. It focusses mainly on the developing characters of the three girls, showing their joys and miseries. It highlights the differences and similarities in their characters - and at various times you find yourself empathising with each one of them.

Although it ends incredibly sadly, you are partially prepared for that in the prologue - which helps to numb the blow a little - but it is dealt with extrememly well.

Historically, it is fascinating; setting the scene fully and showing just what life might have been like. It's set around about the time when I was born. Although I have already read something about the era and about what went on, I still learnt from this book - and enjoyed nearly every minute of it. However, it is not essential to know anything about the History in advance, as everything is pretty well explained.

The characters are fully developed; and the story line is intriguing. Although you may find your self disliking a certain character for a while - you later find out what made them behave in that way, and your opinions change to a certain extent.

The authors work together incredibly well. At no time are you aware that one sister wrote one bit and the other wrote the rest - that various parts run together without any sudden jumps or changes in style.

Mum and I both read this book over the Christmas holidays, and we both loved it. I have already bought the sequel (A Durable Fire) and am halfway through 'To My Daughter In France', another book by the same pair of sisters which is our book club book for the next month. I will be looking out for any other books that they produce, and will be keen to buy them!
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on 11 January 2006
Having grown up in Africa, I bought this book because of my love for Africa, and it was so beautifully written. Enjoyed every moment of it and could not put it down. I could smell the bush, feel the sun on my back and hear the sounds of Africa. Well done to the Keatings for writing such a beautiful book that made me cry, laugh and appreciate all I have grown up with in Africa and also what I have experienced living in England.
Highly recommended!
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on 24 March 2012
Having read all the reviews of this book I was both surprised and disappointed when I read it. I buy a lot of books from Amazon and normally I am in agreement with the majority of the reviews and find them very helpful. However this book I found very disappointing. I thought the prose was poor and the whole book was pretty banal. I could not really relate to any of the characters and I was hoping for a bit more serious background information on Kenya at the time but sadly that was not to be.
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on 31 December 2008
An enjoyable enough read for the majority of the book, not great literature or particularly earth-shattering, just ok really. The storylines chug along quite well, but flop a bit at the end. An ok book for the beach or a long plane trip.
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VINE VOICEon 18 March 2010
Having grown up in Kenya, this took me back to my child hood. A really beautifully written book, which sets a brilliant scene. At times, I did find it a little repetitive but a very good story line. I read "To my Daughter in France" first by the same authors and thought that was brilliant and was not disappointed with reading a second novel my the same author. A good read. Only one problem, the small type face, which I don't like especially because I read mainly at night. Author's need to print their books in bigger type face because it is a real turn off for me if it is too small. Worth the read.
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on 13 April 2008
What a fantastic story based in Kenya, I was mesmerized from the beginning! The relationship between the three girls and the background hardship that are going on and their individual ways of getting through everything and yet sticking together were highly commendable. I could not put the book down and was very upset when I completed it; I wanted to read on! Luckily, the story is continued and all the ends tied up in their following book "Durable Fire" another epic read.

Please hurry up and write another one soon!!

Highly recommend their first book "To my Daughter in France" too. Fantastic writers!!
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on 2 February 2009
Having grown up in Kenya and gone to school with the authors of Blood Sisters and A Durable Fire, it was like a walk down memory lane. It brought back my own past and childhood so vividly and accurately, I felt I was almost reliving that time in Kenya. I can't wait for the third part of the Langani Trilogy!
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on 19 September 2012
I have just finished reading these three books, written by the Keating sisters and was unable to put them down. The story of the three friends and their lives completely absorbed me. There was no cooking or cleaning done in my house until the books were finished.

I found them to be loving and yet so very tragic and made me feel as though I was actually with them. Also, the descriptions of Kenya and its people were remarkable.
Having lived there, I was constantly reminded of places I knew and loved, especially my old school and family holidays in Mombassa. Africa has a way of stealing your heart and you never forget its beauty and the gentle people who live there.

Congratulations to the Keating sisters, they took me back in time, with their wonderful story telling.
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