I recently read a book that I just have to recommend. A Guide to the Birds of East Africa, by Nicholas Drayson, is a delightful read about love and birding.
Combine un-confessed love, complicated by a long-standing rivalry, with detailed descriptions of life and politics in Kenya. Add a generous helping of Kenyan birds. Stir with charm. It’s the perfect recipe for a thoroughly enjoyable novel.
Mr. Malik is short, round, and brown. He has a classic comb-over. At 61, he has been widowed for 8 years. Burying himself in his family-owned manufacturing company only led to a heart attack. To relieve stress, he has taken on several other pursuits, including birdwatching. Although he has never let on, he is in love with…
Rose Mbikwa originated in Scotland. On holiday in Kenya, she fell in love with the country, and one particular citizen thereof. She stayed on, even after her husband, a member of the Kenyan parliament, died under mysterious circumstances. We find her working at the museum, training tour guides, and leading a bird walk every Tuesday morning. Then, who should show up but…
Harry Khan was Mr. Malik’s tormentor at the boarding school they attended as boys. Now, years later, he reappears in Nairobi with lots of money and no current wife. Not only does he attend the museum bird walks—he’s interested in Rose.
A birdwatching contest is proposed. The prize? First dibs on asking Rose to the Nairobi Hunt Club Ball.
To find out what happens next, you’ll just have to read the book.