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Olive the Lionheart: Lost Love, Imperial Spies, and One Woman's Journey to the Heart of Africa

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3.50  ·  Rating details ·  18 ratings  ·  10 reviews
"Brad Ricca's Olive MacLeod is my favorite sort of woman from history--bold and unconventional, utterly unsinkable--and her story is so full of adventure and acts of courage, it's hard to believe she actually lived. And yet she did! Brad Ricca has found a heroine for the ages, and written her tale with a winning combination of accuracy and imagination." -- Paula McLain, ...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Expected publication: August 11th 2020 by St. Martin's Press
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Maureen
Apr 01, 2020 rated it liked it
I received a copy of this biography of Olive MacLeod from goodreads as a giveaway promotion.
Olive MacLeod and Boyd Alexander were engaged to be married when Boyd goes to Africa on an expedition. He promises Olive he will return in one year.
Olive and Boyd exchange letters. These letters are actually in the book. Suddenly letters from Boyd stop. Olive boards a ship along with her companions Mr. and Mrs Talbot to find out what happened to Boyd. She endures many hardships and danger along the way.
I
...more
Sage
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Im torn between 3 and 4 stars for this one I loved the concept and idea, and appreciated that the author tried to use as much primary source material from Olive (the badass™) as was available/possible.

The thought of a (single) woman in 1910 (!!!) journeying to Africa to find her disappeared fiancé was a great hook, but I didnt particularly care for the first half of the book. I wish her letters had been weaved more seamlessly into the narrative.

Also, I just kept thinking about colonialism in
...more
Kim Fox
Apr 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
1910 Olive finds out her fiance Boyd Alexander was killed on an expedition in Africa. Olive decides to go find out for herself what is going on. How did he die, or is he even dead??

I found that the first part of this book moved a little slow, but then the story starts to piece together, and the story picks up about half way into the book. The author was able to describe Africa in 1910 with such clarity that you could almost taste the dust in the air. Olive's story is just amazing! Not many men
...more
Simone
Feb 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I received an advanced reader's edition from the publisher and am under no obligation to post a review."

A story about a brave woman, Olive MacLeod, who traveled from the Isle of Skye, Scotland to Africa in search of her fiancée, Lieutenant Boyd Alexander, who was killed due to political unrest. Based on a true story.

I enjoyed the story, yet found that it didn't flow well. Although I was intrigued by the characters, some of the story line was too subtle and unclear.

My favorite quote in the book,
...more
Lori
Mar 04, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
I received a copy of this book from the goodreads giveaway. "Olive the Lionheart" is about the real life woman who went to Africa in 1910 to try and find her missing fiancé Boyd Alexander. Olive MacLeod wrote letters back and forth to her fiancé when the letters from him stopped she boarded a ship and went to Africa she hired a team of people to go through Africa on foot and canoe to find out what happened to Boyd. she went in parts of Africa a white woman and never been in 1910. She encountered ...more
Krista
Mar 30, 2020 rated it liked it
I was so excited to get this book, I seem to gravitate to books set in Colonial Africa. Olive is engaged to Boyd Alexander when he decides to make a trip to Africa and dies before they get married. Olive then decides that she must see where he died. Thus the adventure of Olive trekking across Africa begins. This was a true story and derived from Olive's diaries and letters. We travel with her to the heart of Africa and face each obstacle with her. I did feel that the book started slowly, and it ...more
Krista
Mar 30, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was so excited to get this book, I seem to gravitate to books set in Colonial Africa. Olive is engaged to Boyd Alexander when he decides to make a trip to Africa and dies before they get married. Olive then decides that she must see where he died. Thus the adventure of Olive trekking across Africa begins. This was a true story and derived from Olive's diaries and letters. We travel with her to the heart of Africa and face each obstacle with her. I did feel that the book started slowly, and it ...more
Susan
Apr 03, 2020 rated it liked it
I won this book on goodreads. Based on her diaries, it is a fascinating story of how Olive MacLeod travels to Africa in 1910 to discover whether or not her fiance really was murdered there. I would have liked more background information on the MacLeod and Alexander families, and I hope in the finished book, there will be more photographs of Olive, her fiance, those she traveled with and her own pictures that she took in Africa, instead of only one photograph of Olive at the beginning of the ...more
Allison Krulik
Mar 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
I liked this story. I thought the characters were easy to be interested in. The first half was a little slow but I'm glad I rode it out. This book was based on a true story I just found out?! ..Which always makes a book more interesting to me for whatever reason. I enjoyed it! Thanks Goodreads & publisher for the chance to read this advanced copy!
Emily Nicole
Mar 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I won this book in the giveaway! I'm not typically wild about romance-focused stories but Brad Ricca had me entertained as well as swooning. A fantastic read!
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Brad Ricca is the Edgar-nominated author of the bestselling Mrs. Sherlock Holmes (2017) and Super Boys (2014), winner of the Ohioana Book Award in Nonfiction and a Booklist Top 10 Book on the Arts. He is also the author of American Mastodon, winner of the 2009 St. Lawrence Book Award. He lives with his family in Cleveland.

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