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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 11 March 2013
I have just finished reading this book and have purchased the follow on book Born Singing. I did not want to put it down.

The book is written with genuine warmth and beautiful descriptive passages. You not only feel you have been to Lesotho but involved in the daily lives and struggles of both the foreign workers and the locals. The poverty and poor living conditions of the locals does not dampen their spirits. The author enriches the lives of so many. She does this with such good grace and humour mindful of the local traditions and respectful of the person.
It is testament to what can be achieved by one person who replaces apathy with determination to make a difference. She applies common sense guided by her own inner sense of fairness. The relationships she forges and the experiences she details are colourful and sincere. The author achieved this with small steps but they add up to transform lives for the better.

I have been to South Africa and travelled the garden route but relieved it again in her descriptions and can't wait to return to see what I missed on my trip.

We all feel we would like to make a difference and then forget about it, having read the note on the author I was so pleased to read SHE has set up a charity "LINKING LIVES" I know if I give to this organisation it will not be wasted on administration but will make a real differences. A pair of shoes or a school uniform means a child can have an education.
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on 19 October 2001
Although factual, this book may be, it is anything but the boring stereotype we might have expected, but reads more like a fictional novel, leaving one no choice but to pick up the book again and again, until all pages have been explored and we are left exhausted by the delightfully explicit descriptive powers of the author, a canvas in print, who needs pictures?
From a brief resume of the background of Ms Willoughby, and her child hood home life to the near present, and the trip to Africa when her never ever humdrum life style explodes into an adventure into the lives of a group of Basotho in a remote township in Lesotho, a little heard of landlocked mountain kingdom in South Africa.
This was certainly no kitchen sink drama, but it leaves us all wishing we could have shared just a little of the story, and excitement...
With her inquisitive mind, one could say that once a teacher always a teacher, Ms Willoughby, probed and foraged and probably homed in adventures, which became something from nothing, and which so many of us would have overlooked due to our lack of foresight, and desire to know more about anything and everything.
Most of the tale is pivoted around the main character, Walter, a tall upright good looking young man, a friend for life, and a friendship which sprang from a chance meeting, as goodness flowed from a bad situation.
No wrestling with animals bare handed in the jungle, no running in terror in fear for one's life, and no plane crashes, or car chases, but never the less this book leaves you gasping for the next chapter, and then at the end, maybe, the sequel to Innocent in africa, and more exciting stories of a country so different to anything we could have ever dreamed up.
You need to read every well chosen and colourful word, woven into a tapestry of prose, to even understand the half of that which I am struggling to convey to you, without rewriting the book myself!!
So, I would say go out and buy it both for yourself, and as a Christmas/birthday present, it will give a lot of pleasure and will be money well spent. A book which can be read and re-read, without losing it's magic and with every reading you will discover a little more of that which perhaps you missed the time before.
Enjoy, as you must, and you will.......
Foot note; I have been to Lesotho, so I have experienced some of this at first hand, and believe me it is real, and could have happened to any one of us, we armchair voyeurs.
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Annette Willoughby has produced a superb and informative account of her personal experience of an extended visit to Lesotho. Her obvious empathy with both the people she meets and the country she adopts as home, as well as her practical approach to dealing with the day to day problems of living in one of the poorest kingdoms in the world, which also has extreme weather conditions and hardly any public services, is conveyed with clarity and humour. This is a heart-warming and honest story of humanity, love and relationships and is an example of how much can be achieved by one person with a can-do mentality and a copious amount of tenacity.
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on 23 October 2001
The country of Lesotho was an unknown country to me until I started reading Innocent in Africa.It almost makes you believe you are there. Her descriptions are wonderful.The story is a true story of a teacher who just finds herself in Another world and copes with whatever is thrown at her. Makes you laugh out loud.
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on 7 October 2001
When I had read it I felt as though I had been to Africa.Her descriptions of the country of lesotho and S.Africa are wonderful.I really wanted to go and help those people she talked about.I hope she writes another book.I felt as though I was with her because she paints pictures with words.
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on 20 October 2014
This is a well written and interesting book. Annette brought Lesuto to life for for and made me feel empathetic towards her and the people she talks of. I loved the descriptions and felt nervous when driving up the mountains with her. Not quite finished but am well on the way.
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on 3 June 2015
I enjoyed this book very much and became involved with the characters and Annette's dedication to helping the local community in The Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho. However, the book finished abruptly at the end of the 28th chapter and I suspect that the complete book has a possible 32 chapters, but the book does not show a 'table of contents'! I have never experienced any problem with a kindle download previously and wondered if kindle or publishers are able to rectify this? Would have given 5* but for this problem.
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on 7 May 2014
A fascinating account of life in the third world.Very thought provoking highlighting the inequalities in the world in the 1990s that persist today.Was it a brave decision to go or stupid? Either way all works out for the better with benefits all round.I was surprised how much I enjoyed the book and at times found it difficult to put down A sign of a well written book.
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on 23 June 2016
This author cast aside her fears and committed to the development of friendships without prejudice. Genuine and deep relationships followed based upon the simple tenets of trust, care and love. The author brings alive Lesotho and the south African country and describes its beauty and splendour in vivid detail. A wonderful read.
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on 4 November 2014
As yet i have skirted around the edges of lesotho visiting many of the places in south afric mentioned in this book,the descriptions of those familiar places took me right back there, and lesotho itself is now a place i really must go too.
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