Ann 's Reviews > The Clouds Beneath the Sun: A Novel

The Clouds Beneath the Sun by Mackenzie Ford
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Jun 11, 10

bookshelves: first-reads
Read from May 26 to June 10, 2010

I was very pleased to receive this uncorrected proof copy as a First-Reads give away.
There were many historical aspects of this novel I enjoyed and found to be intriguing --Kenya in the early 60's, the role of the British Empire, archeological digs in Africa, the society of the Masai and their relationships with the characters. The author's vivid descriptions of the Serengeti and Nairobi made me feel as if he had experienced these locations himself.
But the story seemed to drag and lose focus in places. While a murder occurs, it is more an element of the story for the characters to react to rather then a mystery to solve. Natalie, a British archeologist, murder trial witness and romantic focus of many of the male characters never seemed to ring true in her thoughts and responses to the situations presented in the story. (Or at least the descriptions of her responses seemed sometimes to be repetitive and unfocused.) Half way through I wondered if perhaps this was because she was a female character created by a man. I think there are many male authors who can do a great job of presenting realistic female characters--but not in this case.
At the end I discovered that this story was based on fact. I wish that the author had expanded on this information and presented more on the history of the real events. It did make me wonder if it was difficult for the author to put fictional thoughts in the minds of real people.
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06/05/2010 page 176
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