Rules of the Wild

Francesca Marciano, a documentary filmmaker, sets her first novel, Rules of the Wild, in Kenya’s young expat community. Beautiful Italian narrator Esme moves to Nairobi on a whim following her poet father’s death, and soon loses herself in affairs with two very different men: upscale-safari leader Adam, a second-generation white Kenyan; and Hunter, an English journalist obsessed with the atrocities unfolding in Rwanda. Marciano’s prose deflates romantic African stereotypes (on Isak Dinesen’s majestic farmlands, shopping malls now sprawl) while intelligently constructing the two romances, as well as a poignant third: how Esme learns to love East Africa on her own terms. A-

Rules of the Wild
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