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After getting a haircut in London and a few new outfits (“she bought two pairs of shoes and began to enjoy herself”), Millie, the neglected American wife of an academic pill, is transformed—and, upon arrival in Africa, falls into the perfect affair. Binstead’s Safari unfolds the fractured fairy tale of the rebirth of a drab, insecure woman as a fiercely alive, fearless bea ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published February 26th 2019 by New Directions
(first published February 1st 1988)
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This book was recommended to me by my favorite bookseller, Mary McBride. I didn’t know what to expect but the book was unsettling, to say the least. Also, don’t think I would ever want to go on safari after this! That said, it was a unique and compelling novel.
I like the way the author develops the way a "frumpy" wife is able to redefine herself and discover a new independence from an uncaring, overbearing and alcoholic husband. I found the author's tendency to leave an adventure abruptly without completing it a bit annoying, but she brings into her story a surreal quality that adds another dimension to the book. I really enjoyed the book 4 stars worth until the ending - then I remembered I was reading Rachel Ingalls. Love her imagination, but she is ...more
Binstead's Safari by Rachel Ingalls (Mrs. Caliban) introduces Millie, the neglected wife of an academic who blames her for being uninteresting. She insists on joining him on a research trip to Africa, and unexpectedly blossoms during the journey to safari camp. People are drawn to her, and her sexuality is evident to one particular man. Her husband is shocked to see her become the center of attention, and as her confidence grows, her willingness to live in the shadows disappears. Millie realizes ...more
Dec 17, 2007 Michael rated it really liked it · review of another edition
Recommends it for: adults/married people
The protagonist in this great novel is a woman, which is rare enough to be exciting on its own. Millie is married to an unfaithful man who is a professor on a posh safari in Africa to study folklore. She falls in love with another, seemingly good man, and has an enlightenment. The magical setting of the savanna in eastern Africa makes anything possible. The preternatural strength of the lion in this country is akin to Millie's rejuvenated self-image; she transcends the burdens of her oppressive ...more
Kind of mesmerizing and definitely creepy. One of those books I had to go back and reread several years later to see if it still grabbed me the same way. The suspense builds slowly and the ending is...well, it grabbed me both times. This books contains a sort of magical realism and it creates a dark mood as it unwinds itself. Do not read alone late at night, especially if you are a woman or a lover of animal lore.
Rachel Ingalls grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She has had various jobs, from theatre dresser and librarian to publisher’s reader. She is a confirmed radio and film addict and has lived in London since 1965. She is the author of several works of fiction—most notably Mrs. Caliban—published in both the United States and the United Kingdom.