Recently, I was introduced to a new author by a friend who passed one of Jennifer McVeigh’s books along to me. Leopard at the Door, is a
historical fiction set in Kenya during the 1950s. It tells the story of one young woman and the Mau Mau rebellion. The book intrigued me
for two reasons. First of all, McVeigh describes Kenya with such intricate detail that I felt as though I walked along with Rachel, the main
character, through the wild countryside bathed in its searing heat. Secondly, I’ve never read any history about Kenya, the Europeans who
settled there, or the political campaigns targeted against them. As a result of reading her book, I became a little more educated in our
world’s history and eager to read another book by the same author.
The second book I read by McVeigh, The Fever Tree, is also a historical fiction, this time set in South Africa. The story is based on the
diary of a doctor who lived near the end of the nineteenth century. In his diary, he told the story of a smallpox epidemic that ravaged the
diamond- mining town of Kimberly. McVeigh uses this diary to write a gripping book about truth, lies, lust, love, exploitation and a
courageous man who does not stray from his integrity, even if it means losing his wife.