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Original Essays | September 17, 2014

Merritt Tierce: IMG Has My Husband Read It?

My first novel, Love Me Back, was published on September 16. Writing the book took seven years, and along the way three chapters were published in... Continue »
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1 Beaverton World History- Africa

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Wildflower: An Extraordinary Life and Mysterious Death in Africa


Wildflower: An Extraordinary Life and Mysterious Death in Africa Cover

ISBN13: 9780812979091
ISBN10: 0812979095
Condition: Standard
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She always knew he would come back to her.

He would climb into his helicopter at first light one Nairobi morning

and rise above the screaming madhouse of the city, tilting west over

East Africas largest slum, and flying out into wonder: out over the

Great Rift Valley, the cradle of civilization, a three- thousand- mile- long

seam in the earth that stretches from Syria to Mozambique but is at its

most glorious here in Kenya. As the floor of the world dropped away,

opening into endless sky and a breathtaking vista, he would follow this

corridor straight back to her.

There were things she longed to tell him, things only he would understand.

Everything shed been too shy and self- effacing to say before

would now come pouring out, just as it had in all of the letters she had

written him, letters she never sent:

A lifetime has passed since we split, and yet some memories of

things we did together seem [as if they happened] only the other

day. There is so much I would like to say and share with you—now

I know I am not inferior to you.

She waited for him in her blue house beside the lake, which looked

so perfect and placid from the air. But this was merely another extreme

in a country where great beauty coexists with unimaginable brutality,

where the border between life and death is the thinnest of lines, where

nothing is ever as it seems.

Now in contact with others, I realize how knowledgeable I am

about the natural world. . . . People respect me nowadays. But the

only love of my life is one of the few people I cannot communicate

with, even as a friend.

She could leave all that pain behind as soon as he came back into her

life. Flying over the mountains and dormant volcanoes that form a natural

amphitheater around the lake, he would hover over the emeraldgreen

water, taking in its wide, verdant, wildlife- infested expanse.

When you flew over and saw the blue house you were probably

happy you didnt live here anymore, but I am really such a different

person, I hardly know myself. I have written you so many letters in

my head but when I try to write I go to pieces.

She imagined him buzzing the house, as playfully as he always had,

then touching down on the grass landing strip and stepping out, as if

returning from only a brief safari instead of half a lifetime. Then at last

she would impress him with her independence and accomplishments

and show him the abiding endurance of her love.

Finally, he did come back to her, flying in with the dawn on January

13, 2006. It was not, however, as she had dreamed for so long. He

hadnt come to reunite with the woman who had once been his wife,

partner, and best friend, the woman hed left to live alone in Africa for

sixteen years.

He had come to collect her remains.

From the Hardcover edition.

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bbrrtt1, July 30, 2010 (view all comments by bbrrtt1)
Mark Seal brings us the story of the world renowned naturalist, Joan Root, in a thoughtful and compelling narrative that is hard to put down. If you loved Out of Africa, you will find Wildflower irresistible. A terrific love story between Joan and Alan Root, fascinating bush stories and wildlife adventures across Africa...filming and bringing nature and wildlife to the rest of us. Joan's story is sad at times, encouraging at others, and her life and love of nature is one story that should never be forgotten. Her love of nature and of Kenya’s beautiful Lake Naivasha compels her to take personal risks that ultimately end her life, tragically. Mark Seal brings us this story in a thoughtful and meticulous manner researching Joan's diaries, friends, and most importantly the love of her life, Alan Root. This book is a keeper, I truly enjoyed the story of her incredible woman.
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Product Details

Seal, Mark
Random House Trade
General Biography
Naturalists, Gardeners, Environmentalists
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8 x 5.18 x 0.6 in 0.45 lb

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Related Subjects

» Biography » General
» Biography » Women
» History and Social Science » Africa » Kenya
» History and Social Science » World History » Africa

Wildflower: An Extraordinary Life and Mysterious Death in Africa Used Trade Paper
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$6.95 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Random House Trade - English 9780812979091 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , "Vanity Fair" contributing editor Seal tells the mesmerizing story of the captivating life and shocking death of world-renowned naturalist Joan Root.
"Synopsis" by , With compassion and an unswerving regard for the truth, veteran journalist Mark Seal lays bare the deeply moving, inspirational story of Joan Root, a dedicated environmentalist and Oscar-nominated wildlife filmmaker. He covers her early days in Kenya as a shy young woman with an almost uncanny ability to connect to animals; her whirlwind courtship with the dashing Alan Root, their marriage, and the twenty years of nonstop adventure and passionate romance that followed, both in Africa and around the world; the shattering disintegration of the marriage and partnership; and Joan’s triumphant struggle to reinvent herself as the protector of her lakeshore community’s fragile ecosystem—a struggle that would lead to her tragic death in January 2006. Joan Root dreamed of a bright future for Kenya, a country blessed with unmatched beauty but scarred by decades of colonization and a culture of corruption. She spent her life fighting to make that dream a reality. Her life ended too soon, but “thanks to Seal’s meticulous re-creation, her extraordinary life lives on.” (People, four-star review)
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