- Type: Romance/ women’s fiction
- Related posts: 2017 favorites | 2017 favorite singles
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With Mists of the Serengeti, Leylah Attar delivers an extraordinarily evocative story about life, love and loss. Jack and Rodel’s story is a journey enlivened by Attar’s prose, every step felt deeply, acutely.
The story begins with a violent storm of fire, steel and concrete—an explosion in an East Africa mall. Two people suffer an unimaginable loss, a pain which hurls them on a collision course towards each other. Their lives tangle in ways unforeseen and soon enough, inextricably, as they each work through their own heartbreak.
Jack Warden lost his only daughter that day with memories of coffee, yellow balloons and blasts haunting him every moment.
Rodel lost her sister, the girl who was wildly alive and driven to make a difference. When she flies to Africa to pick up her sister’s belongings, she uncovers exactly what her sister had set out to do.
Determined to carry out those unfinished plans, Rodel treks to a coffee farm in Tanzania to look for a man named Jack.
Despite a not-so-great start, Jack and Rodel set off to save the lives of a few in memory of the ones they loved.
With sand and mist swirling around them, they find unexpected hope in each other, strength in the young faces of those who struggle against cultural atrocities. What’s even more surprising is the kindling of feelings, the resurgence of life and love when they thought it long gone.
“He wore a crown of dried twigs and hay, but he was more royal, more magnificent than all the jeweled kings in all the fairy tales because he walked in real life—mortal, vulnerable, broken, jaded, but still a king—with the heart of a lion, and the soul of an angel.”
Their journey is temporary however. Jack can’t bear to love again, only to lose again. Rodel must return to England, to a life put on pause. But under the guise of starlight and inconsequence, they surrender to each other.
“I want reckless. I want mindless, ruthless, heedless. I want to be swept up in madness. I want your passion. I want your pain. I want you to tell me that you can’t bear the thought of me leaving, that it feels like you can’t breathe, that you want me, that you’ll miss me.”
Jack and Rodel’s story, along with the stories of the many others we encounter along the way, will move you deeply. Poetic, introspective, heartbreaking and hopeful, Mists of the Serengeti is sure to be one of those novels that will stay with you long after you’re done.
A beautiful, must-read book by a talented writer who continues to out-do herself.
“This is what it looks like when you wander somewhere between the sand and stardust, and meet a piece of yourself in someone else.”
About Mists of the Serengeti
Once in Africa, I kissed a king…
“And just like that, in an old red barn at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, I discovered the elusive magic I had only ever glimpsed between the pages of great love stories. It fluttered around me like a newborn butterfly and settled in a corner of my heart. I held my breath, afraid to exhale for fear it would slip out, never to be found again.”
When a bomb explodes in a mall in East Africa, its aftershocks send two strangers on a collision course that neither one sees coming.
Jack Warden, a divorced coffee farmer in Tanzania, loses his only daughter. An ocean away, in the English countryside, Rodel Emerson loses her only sibling.
Two ordinary people, bound by a tragic afternoon, set out to achieve the extraordinary, as they make three stops to rescue three children across the vast plains of the Serengeti—children who are worth more dead than alive.
But even if they beat the odds, another challenge looms at the end of the line. Can they survive yet another loss—this time of a love that’s bound to slip through their fingers, like the mists that dissipate in the light of the sun?
“Sometimes you come across a rainbow story—one that spans your heart. You might not be able to grasp it or hold on to it, but you can never be sorry for the color and magic it brought.”
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