Parisian socialite Delilah Drummond collects scandals like other people collect stamps. But this most recent scandal takes the cake, and her mother decides that Delilah needs to cool her heels away from the spotlight until the gossip columnists and newspapers find another topic. So Delilah is exiled to her stepfather’s manor home in Kenya. Life in colonial Africa is far different than anything Delilah has ever experienced before, and she soon learns exactly what’s worth fighting for in a country where life is wild and lust yet also cheap and fleeting.
A Spear of Summer Grass starts off slow. Not that that’s a bad thing. It eases the reader into Delilah’s world in Paris before taking them along with her to Africa. The writing was so detailed that it felt like I was there with Delilah, experiencing the Parisian cafes, arriving in Nairobi for the first time, and experiencing the dilapidated beauty of her stepfather’s manor, Fairlight. Then there were the animals, which were made to be not only parts of the landscape but characters in their own right. The whole book made me want to book a safari to Africa.
In addition to the setting, the characters were absolutely spellbinding. Delilah was a fantastic narrator who effectively held all of her cards close to her chest until the opportune moments. She also worked as a fantastic character to pit against the others she met in Africa, whether it was Ryder or Gideon or Kit or any of the others. I cared about the characters enough to say aloud to the author, You better not kill [Character] more than once while I was reading.
It was also obvious that Raybourn did huge amounts of research, not only into the locations and clothing but also into the culture of the 1920’s in Paris and Africa. The little details sold the story, and I’m already planning on picking up more of her books.
A Spear of Summer Grass would be the perfect novel for someone interested in historical fiction.
A Spear of Summer Grass by Deanna Raybourn is published by Harlequin MIRA and is available in paperback, hardcover, and eBook.