A Spear of Summer Grass

  • by Deanna Raybourn
  • Narrated by Nicola Barber
  • 11 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Paris, 1923
The daughter of a scandalous mother, Delilah Drummond is already notorious, even among Paris society. But her latest scandal is big enough to make even her oft-married mother blanch. Delilah is exiled to Kenya and her favorite stepfather's savanna manor house until gossip subsides.
Fairlight is the crumbling, sun-bleached skeleton of a faded African dream, a world where dissolute expats are bolstered by gin and jazz records, cigarettes and safaris. As mistress of this wasted estate, Delilah falls into the decadent pleasures of society.
Against the frivolity of her peers, Ryder White stands in sharp contrast. As foreign to Delilah as Africa, Ryder becomes her guide to the complex beauty of this unknown world. Giraffes, buffalo, lions and elephants roam the shores of Lake Wanyama amid swirls of red dust. Here, life is lush and teeming - yet fleeting and often cheap.
Amidst the wonders - and dangers - of Africa, Delilah awakes to a land out of all proportion - extremes of heat, darkness, beauty, and joy that cut to her very heart. Only when this sacred place is profaned by bloodshed does Delilah discover what is truly worth fighting for - and what she can no longer live without.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Disappointed

I think the Lady Julia Grey novels are brilliant. This book had NONE of the wonderful aspects of those books. What came to mind in this book was the movie Out of Africa. It was well written but frankly boring, not one of the characters was likable. If you are reading this because of enjoying the Lady Julia Grey novels this is NOTHING like those at all. Very disappointed to say the least. I did the whispersinc ebook/audio. The audio reader, Nicola Barber was excellent but the material was lacking.
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- Vinity "Vinity"

Great descriptions of Africa...

This book is about a bright young woman, Delilah, who elopes immediately after her court presentation, marries for love and enjoys learning "not to burn the chops" while her young man writes his book. He does not survive World War I. Like many of her generation, faced with the harsh lessons of the shortness of life and the brutality of war, she joins her wealthy relatives in the glittering whirl history describes as" he lost generation". The problem is Delilah parties to the point that she manages to discomfort even her most outrageous relatives. She is sent to what is now Kenya, until society finds someone else to gossip about.

I settled into this story expecting to have a fun listen to get me through a rainy afternoon and some mindless work.

But I just would not spend much time with this particular main character, because her careless attitude toward life seems to have extended to people who do not have her wealth. She is witty and interesting, but her treatment of the poor relation forced to be her companion/maid is not funny. If the poor woman is meant to be a foil for this representative of the lost generation, it doesn't quite work. There is not even a suggestion that the companion is someone who is hated, like Jayne Eyer's aunt hates Jane. Our flapper is just carelessly hurtful, and just a touch mean without even intending to be cruel. If I had to spend much time around this woman, it wouldn't take a sea voyage to make me throw up. I think I would toss her luggage overboard and find a soup kitchen.

This is sort of an indication of how well Deanna Raybourn writes, because she has created two characters so real: I want to tell one of these women to get some self-respect and the other I just want to avoid. So I avoided Delilah and downloaded another book. I may regret it later, because many people have found this book to be fun.

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- Barbara "Huntsville, Alabama"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-30-2013
  • Publisher: Harlequin Books S.A.