Once in Africa, I kissed a king…
“And just like that, in an old red barn at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, I discovered the elusive magic I had only ever glimpsed between the pages of great love stories. It fluttered around me like a newly born butterfly and settled in a corner of my heart. I held my breath, afraid to exhale for fear it would slip out, never to be found again.”
When a bomb explodes in a mall in East Africa, its aftershocks send two strangers on a collision course that neither one sees coming.
Jack Warden, a divorced coffee farmer in Tanzania, loses his only daughter. An ocean away, in the English countryside, Rodel Emerson loses her only sibling.
Two ordinary people, bound by a tragic afternoon, set out to achieve the extraordinary, as they make three stops to rescue three children across the vast plains of the Serengeti—children who are worth more dead than alive.
But even if they beat the odds, another challenge looms at the end of the line. Can they survive yet another loss—this time of a love that’s bound to slip through their fingers, like the mists that dissipate in the light of the sun?
“Sometimes you come across a rainbow story—one that spans your heart. You might not be able to grasp it or hold on to it, but you can never be sorry for the color and magic it brought.”
In romance, there are few books that make you realize just how small a part of the world you are. Few books that bring awareness to just how far removed we are from the true atrocities happening in other parts of the world. I can count on one hand the books that have made me feel insignificant, in the best way possible, and this is one of them. This book slayed me, it pulled back the curtain that kept me in the safe bubble of my life and gave me a glimpse at the horrific things that are still happening in the world today.
Mists of the Serengeti was, at its heart, a story of healing, of redemption, of hope in the face of the worst kinds of tragedies. The plot that Ms. Attar laid out in this book was addictive and compelling. It was also one of the most impassioned stories I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing. There were times when the words on the book were so intense, made me feel so much, I had to put down the book and just take a beat to gather myself. I needed a break to process exactly what I was feeling and how I could deal with the things that Leylah Attar put on those pages.
This book was everything. It was all of the most beautiful and ugly things about the human condition. It was the darkest of darks and the brightest of brights. There moments when my chest hurt so badly I could barely breath, those moments were interspersed with glimpses of levity, which allowed me to catch my breath and remember if you look, there is always a way out of the dark.
I am in awe of Leylah Attar’s writing. It was wildly obvious that she has a passion and a respect for her art that is unmatched by many authors. Her love for her characters, her plot, her message pours from each word. It is highly unusual for me to mark many passages in a book, but I continuously found myself highlighting words because they were too beautiful, too wonderfully written to pass over without acknowledgement. Ms. Attar put herself on my go-to list of authors with Mists of the Serengeti. I would be remiss to even think of missing a book she has written, if the words she crafted in this book are indicative of the care she puts into her other works.
Leylah Attar writes stories about love – shaken, stirred, and served with a twist. She lives in Ontario, Canada, with her husband, son, and all the voices in her head. Sometimes she disappears into the black hole of the internet, but can usually be enticed out with chocolate.