Barbara Whitnell (authoress of The Ring of Bells) takes us in The Song of the
Rainbird into life in Kenya from the
beginning of the century through to the early 1950s.
Most young ladies, arriving at the shanty town of Nairobi, as it was at the beginning
of the century, to find that their fiance had been killed in suspicious circumstances,
would have gone straight back to England. But not Kate Carswell. She was already
beginning to feel a love for the warmth and magnificence of Kenya and there was no,
The story is one of Kate's life among the farmers, government servants, missionaries.
and hunters of those earlier days, and her turmoil of feelings for her new found
friend, Christy Brennan. It describes her fight for justice in a colour-conscious
community, and her own family involvement with the Mau Mau. As Elspeth Huxley
puts it, - "Barbara Whitnell has most skilfully evoked the atmosphere and attitudes
of colonial Kenya. She has presented the viewpoints of both her black and white
characters, and of one in between, fairly and perceptively, weaving them into an
eventful tapestry of human hopes, failures and achievements, in a land that is always
fascinating, beautiful and unpredictable."