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Readers' Comments for A Spear of Summer Grass

In April, a select group of readers who participated in one of our special Two & Two contests won copies of A SPEAR OF SUMMER GRASS by Deanna Raybourn. It’s the story of Delilah Drummond, who has been exiled to Kenya and her favorite stepfather's savanna manor house to escape the fallout from her latest scandal. There, she meets Ryder White, who becomes her guide to the complex beauty of this unknown world. Only when this sacred place is profaned by bloodshed does Delilah discover what is truly worth fighting for --- and what she can no longer live without. Take a look at some of the readers' comments to give you more insight into this lyrical novel about one woman’s life-changing transformation, and the country she learns to love.

One quarter into this book I was ready to put it aside, but three quarters into the book, I couldn’t put it down. The protagonist, Delilah, was self-absorbed and uncaring of others. She appeared to have no saving graces and a brittle shell. Then the author began to peel away her outer layers, allowing us bit by bit to see her hidden depths. Suddenly, she became a multi-dimensional heroine who was empathetic to the plight of the people around her --- regardless of their social order. She is courageous and fiercely loyal to her family and friends.

Slowly, we learn the reasons for her current scandalous behavior. We follow Delilah from the glitz and glamour of Paris 1920s to a wild and glorious land of natives and a smattering of ex-pats that make up the tiny society. At first, Delilah rebels against her exile to Africa, but then she quickly begins to appreciate the savage, beautiful, untamed land, and gains the respect of the people. There is danger all around and of this the writer reminds us throughout the book, even going so far as to throw a murder in the mix. At the end, I can say I loved this book. Which I think is a very good thing, since I have a suspicion that this is the first in a series.

I enjoyed Delilah’s African adventures --- following the traditions of the natives as well as the interlocking lives of her neighbors and friends. However, I think I wished for a slightly different outcome.  

I really enjoyed reading this book and I let my friend at work read it also and she really loved it.

I enjoyed A SPEAR OF SUMMER GRASS very much. Delilah was an interesting and complex character with her ability to survive and eventually enjoy her exile to Kenya. It was surprising to see how well she handled her job as the mistress of the manor and took to nursing and caring for the Kikuyu. While she acted as if nothing bothered her, there was another side of her that cared deeply for other people --- especially Ryder White. The descriptions of the wildlife and the Serengeti were so exotic and frightening. The ending was a surprise. I look forward to reading more books by Deanna Raybourn! 

This historical novel set during the 1920s in Africa is captivating and fascinating. The descriptions of Africa are vivid and memorable. I enjoyed meeting the larger-than-life characters, and the combination of romance, mystery and travel makes this novel come alive.  

I finally got to read this book. It took me quite a long time, not because the book was tedious or boring, but because the characters were quite good. Even though there were quite a few characters in the novel, I found that I wasn't confused about any of them at all. They had depth. Although Delilah was painted with a black brush, I found I quite liked her and her love for a country that was not her own. I got so wrapped up in the book that I actually had a nightmare about a snake biting my arm and not letting go. I would recommend this book to someone who wants a deep read. This isn't a book that's fluffy --- it’s got real character and depth.

Soon after I started reading Deanna Raybourn's book A SPEAR OF SUMMER GRASS, I thought about putting it down. It didn't seem like my type of storyline, but since my life-long dream is to someday visit Africa --- I continued to read. I became drawn into the life of Delilah, as she went from a society brat to a lady of limited means. It was as if she stepped from the pages of a story and became a real person. I loved the way I got to visit Fairlight and fall in love with Africa. It was also nice to witness Delilah learning what life is all about. A SPEAR OF SUMMER GRASS definitely won me over.

I enjoyed A SPEAR OF SUMMER GRASS despite some initial misgivings. I didn't expect to be absorbed by a book that appeared at first glance to be about a spoiled, self-involved, hedonistic heroine in 1920s Africa. Banished to Africa to escape fallout following the suicide of her third husband, Delilah Drummond is not a very sympathetic heroine. However, Deanna Raybourn skillfully reveals more about her heroine's past as Delilah's character evolves during her African exile. Africa itself becomes a character in the novel with Ms. Raybourn's lyrical descriptions of the scenery and the constant threat of violence from the wildlife --- both animal and human. There is a love story here and it is as much a love affair between Delilah and Africa as it is between Delilah and the man she comes to love. I truly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys excellent, well-crafted fiction. This is the first of Deanna Raybourn's books that I have read and it certainly won't be the last.

A SPEAR OF SUMMER GRASS by Deanna Raybourn is not a book I would normally read, but it was an enjoyable story. I will look for some other titles by the author.

Although I've read the whole book, it's not one I would have chosen for my personal library. Deanna Raybourn does an excellent job of describing life and the environment in Kenya at the time. However, I don't care to read novels about poor little rich girls who make poor decisions and then try to rectify them.