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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
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    Juliet's Nurse

    Lois Leveen 9781476757445

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The Clouds Beneath the Sun

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Synopses & Reviews

Synopsis:

An exotic setting and a passionate, forbidden affair make "The Clouds Beneath the Sun" an irresistible page-turner that is sure to satisfy readers looking for an intelligent blend of history, romance, and intrigue. Set in Kenya in 1961, the novel follows archaeologist Natalie Nelson as she navigates a controversial dig and an affair with a young man that turns dangerous.

About the Author

MACKENZIE FORD, author of Gifts of War, is the nom de plume of Peter Watson, a well-known and respected historian whose books are published in seventeen languages. He was educated at the Universities of Durham, London, and Rome, and his writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and numerous publications in the United Kingdom. Since 1998 he has been a Research Associate at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research at the University of Cambridge.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Silvers Reviews, September 24, 2011 (view all comments by Silvers Reviews)
An archeologist excavation in Kenya filled with brilliant paleontologists is the setting of the book…the characters' work, cultural differences, and inter-personal relationships encompasses the main plot. In the first few pages the main character, Natalie Nelson, is on her way from Cambridge University to the camp, and she comes across a herd of elephants actually carrying out a mourning ritual...her first glimpse of the mesmerizing sights and sounds of Africa. The descriptions of the wildlife in Africa and the land itself was vividly and beautifully described by Mackenzie Ford.

When Natalie does arrive at the camp site, she is happy to see everyone has his/her own tent with private bath facilities. This is especially comforting the following evening since she didn't get a warm welcome at dinner as a result of her being the novice paleontologist and making a comment that was viewed as criticism of one of the veteran archeologists.

Just as things got better with that situation, and as the excavating continued, two veteran paleontologists, Richard and Russell, do something unthinkable, and a murder occurs. The sole witness happens to be Natalie. Natalie tries to relax and forget about the trial each night with a drink and a cigarette while listening to the African animals that circle the camp. The trial gets pretty complicated and worrisome for Natalie....a plea made to the Maasai chief concerning the trial is denied....the legal and cultural issues are of the utmost concern.


The book was a little slow, but does become a lot better in terms of "action" as you turn the pages to the final chapters....the focus of the archaeological dig, the murder trial, Natalie's turmoil dealing with it, the power of money, societal issues within Africa, relationship issues among a group of people working and living together, personal secrets, and family issues that included sibling rivalry, betrayal, and deceit keep your interest.

It wasn't a riveting novel, but it was intense at times, and it did bring you culturally into another very interesting society. The characters were well developed, and you could feel their pain, fear, triumphs, comradery, and all emotions that may have been felt from living in the middle of a beautiful, exotic African landscape. Being a passionate, knowledgeable paleontologist would have been even more helpful for enjoying the book.

My rating is a 4/5 because the "dig" was very interesting and the cultural aspect made you think how we are all the same, but also different. Even though the ending depicted the beautiful symbolism of the Maasai people, it will haunt you and make you realize what cunning, cruel, jealous, self-motivated creatures we humans can be.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780385529112
Author:
Ford, Mackenzie
Publisher:
Nan A. Talese
Author:
Ford, MacKenzie
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Romantic suspense fiction.
Subject:
Kenya - History - Mau Mau Emergency, 1952-
Subject:
Romance - Historical
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Publication Date:
20100731
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
464
Dimensions:
9.48x6.58x1.43 in. 1.78 lbs.

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Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Clouds Beneath the Sun New Hardcover
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Product details 464 pages Nan A. Talese - English 9780385529112 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , An exotic setting and a passionate, forbidden affair make "The Clouds Beneath the Sun" an irresistible page-turner that is sure to satisfy readers looking for an intelligent blend of history, romance, and intrigue. Set in Kenya in 1961, the novel follows archaeologist Natalie Nelson as she navigates a controversial dig and an affair with a young man that turns dangerous.
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