Eric's Reviews > The Flame Trees of Thika: Memories of an African Childhood

The Flame Trees of Thika by Elspeth Huxley
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Oct 12, 11


I think I may over-romanticize colonial Africa, but somehow it seems to epitomize the adventurous, industrious spirit of turn-of-the-century Europeans, which I think can be described simply as ambitious and courageous. If you can look past the results of Euro-African colonization you'll see that these people were risk takers in the greatest sense of the the word. The majority of African settlers were different than what North American settlers were portrayed as. They weren't fleeing any social, political, economic or religious persecution. They were seeking adventure and the opportunity to prove themselves in an unfamiliar territory.
This book, as in West With the Night, is written from a perspective of a child born to West African settlers. I think what resonates most with me is their appreciation of how special the raw beauty of nature is. Their appreciation of the native landscape, the land, the people. The primitive nature of the relationship that humans have with their environment and its intrinsic nature is perfectly illustrated by the narrative of this book. But it required the advanced self realization of European society to recognize it. How they've allowed that relationship to evolve? That's another questions.
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