I fell in love with the continent of Africa as an adolescent and was fortunate to visit a couple of countries some years back. Africa definitely gets in your blood. And this is clearly evinced by Jane Bwye's book. Spanning almost thirty years, this novel follows the trials and tribulations of Caroline, a girl from a privileged background in Kenya. Her childhood with best friend Teresa is scarred by the State of Emergency that existed due to the Mau Mau uprising. Two other significant characters are Charles Ondiek, a farm labourer who aspires to study in Oxford and Mwangi, a wielder of effective black magic curses. Interwoven in the story is Kenya's transition to independence under Jomo Kenyatta. `The great canopy of sky overwhelmed her; she breathed in deeply, savouring the immensity of the scene. The breath of Africa filled her being. This was her country, her home.' This quotation comes from p92 - but the breath of Africa permeates the entire book and certainly reminds me of Doris Lessing's The Grass is Singing in the depth of feeling by Jane Bwye for the dark continent. Despite tragedy and disappointments, Caroline survives, an excellent example of fortitude in an uncertain world. Breath of Africa is a novel of recent history that sheds light on the place and the period. There's a useful glossary at the back.