October 24, 2012

Reading List Review: Love Life & Elephants (an African Love Story)

Overall: *****

Summary: The autobiography of Dame Daphne Sheldrick who was born in Kenya to European parents who immigrated with their family as part of a government relocation program during the 19th century. She was raised in the Kenyan wilderness,where she learned to live off the land and form an unbreakable bond with the area's wildlife. The book details her remarkable story of navigating her young marriage and subsequent divorce, motherhood, finding her soul mate, and devoting her entire life to rescuing and rehabilitating orphaned animals who were victims of the rampant poaching industry. She is the first person to have successfully hand-reared orphaned elephants and rhinos and still manages the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in honor of the love(s) of her life. 

What I loved: The whole thing. Her account of Africa ( a place I love deep in my soul ), the wild animals who became her family members, the love story, and yes-the photos that she included midway and at the end of the book. Fantastic!  Also amazing that it is the true story of a woman who is still alive today. 

Not so much: As an autobiography, there are definitely moments when chapters are fact-heavy (dates, names, locations, etc.) as the context is crucial. It is also on the long side at 352 pages but I was enamored the entire time. 

I dare you to just read the prologue and not fall in love. 

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