Leopard at the Door – Jennifer McVeigh. Blog Tour Review.

Publication Date: Available Now from Penguin.

Source: Review Copy

Stepping off the boat in Mombasa, eighteen-year-old Rachel Fullsmith stands on Kenyan soil for the first time in six years. She has come home.

But when Rachel reaches the family farm at the end of the dusty Rift Valley Road, she finds so much has changed. Her beloved father has moved his new partner and her son into the family home. She hears menacing rumours of Mau Mau violence, and witnesses cruel reprisals by British soldiers. Even Michael, the handsome Kikuyu boy from her childhood, has started to look at her differently.

Isolated and conflicted, Rachel fears for her future. But when home is no longer a place of safety and belonging, where do you go, and who do you turn to?

Leopard at the Door is a beautifully written novel that puts you right in the heart of Kenya, the beauty and the occasional horror of it and is wonderfully involving but occasionally very hard hitting.

Focusing on Rachel who is returning after a few years in England, the story follows her as she adapts back into her old life whilst realising that the Kenya she left years ago is not the same as it is now. Set in a period of the history of the country I know little about it was a fascinating and compelling story.

Jennifer McVeigh has an immersive descriptive style and we feel everything right along with Rachel as she comes to terms with herself and those around her, I was emotionally invested and read this in 2 sittings. There are some violent moments which cause a little gulp, I was also very taken with Rachel’s relationships with her family and the political landscape, it was all utterly gripping.


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