by Kat Gordon
I enjoy reading historical fiction especially when it’s in regards to the British Empire and the lives of the colonialists. Whether it’s set in India, Africa etc. If you enjoy books by Dinah Jefferies, Marius Gabriel and Janet Trotter MacLeod, then this book is definitely for you and should be added to your reading list.
The Miller family have just moved out to Nairobi, as Mr Miller Senior is now the director of the railways. Which he came out to build in 1896 when he was just an engineer.
However the story is based on his sons life. Theo Miller is a 14 year old boy, who is bright, ambitious and can’t wait to start his new life in Nairobi, along with his 12 year old sister Maud.
The family spend two weeks on the coast of Africa with family friends while they acclimatise to Africa and before their long journey to Nairobi.
On their first week in Nairobi Theo and the rest of his family meet Freddie Hamilton and his friend Sylvie de Croÿ an American Heiress. They are known as the Happy Valley Set. Who the original colonialists look down on due to their behaviour.
Even though Theo was just a boy Freddie and Sylvie take him under their wings and welcome him into their inner circle. The parties he went to were raucous and usually scandalous, with all of their drinking and sexual party games. They are also very self centred and self absorbed and don’t care who they offend or insult.
Theo becomes infatuated with Freddie but more so with Sylvie. He wants to bathe in her love and affection, and does all he can to spend as much time with her as possible.
Sylvie is a very troubled woman and always goes after men who don’t fall over themselves to be with her. Flitting from one husband to another with other lovers in between.
During Theo’s time in Nairobi he encounters great loss as things and times are changing as colonialism is coming to and end, but will Theo ever see through Freddie’s and Sylvie’s complicated and scandalous lives before he gets dragged down with them?
Pages: 368. Publication Date: 31 May 2019. My Rating: