Thursday, June 18, 2020

Book Review - Olive the Lionheart: Lost Love, Imperial Spies, and One Woman's Journey into the Heart of Africa by Brad Ricca

Photo Credit - Amazon
Olive MacLeod is a thirty-year-old Scottish aristocrat. In 1910, she received word that her fiancé, the famous explorer Boyd Alexander, went missing in Africa. Olive decides to Africa determined to find out what happened. Olive and her two travel companions, the Talbots, traverse across the diverse landscape of Africa to find the truth. They cross paths with dangerous animals, native chiefs, politicians, a haunted forest, and a murderous leopard cult. As Olive and the Talbots travel across Africa, they uncover secrets that might hold the key to her fiancé's whereabouts.

The book is based on true events and gleams highlights from Olive's own diaries and letters. The author wrote the book in the same writing style and language if Olive was writing the book. I thought it was a great idea until I found myself rereading things over and over to understand it. I was excited to read about a female explorer taking the world by the horns. However, I felt quite disconnected from Olive. I had a hard time understanding some of her motives and her reactions. For example, Mr. Talbot was showing her how to de-feather a bird. She volunteered for the job but, purposely wasn't following his instructions. I felt like she took the job to provide that she was an asset to the journey and her not following the instructions was counter-intuitive. Unfortunately, I found the novel boring and moved slowly that halfway through the novel I just abandoned the book.

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