Thursday, November 14, 2013

Fortunate by Andrew JH Sharp

Genres: British novel, African adventure, Mystery, Historical fiction, Drama, Suspense, Zimbabwe
Original title: Fortunate
Number of pages: 368
Formats: Paperback, Kindle, Nook
ISBN:  1783060018 (ISBN13: 9781783060016)
Publishers: Troubador Publishing Ltd
Publishing date: July, 1st, 2013
Edition language: English
Purchase links: AmazonBarnes & Noble

Amazon Book Blurb:
From the winner of the 2010 Waverton Good Read Award comes another good read. Beth Jenkins – locum doctor, semi-bereaved wife – runs away from home at the age of twenty-eight and a half and becomes heroine of a revolution.

Locked into a lonely future by a cruel twist of fate, Beth reaches breaking point, leaves her husband, and flees to faraway Zimbabwe. But there she finds herself at the centre of a deadly struggle for the ownership of a farm. From a guest of honour at the President’s table to a disastrous decision that betrays a good man, her fresh start threatens to end in catastrophe. Does the land, and its painted rocks, hold clues to atonement and re-found love?

Fortunate is an intelligent, moving novel with a gripping plot about how to defy fate and about the relationship we have with the land we live on.

A true story embedded in fiction. From this angle the reader can expect that drama will be limited and characters cotton-wrapped. In a sense it is true.

Yet, Beth Jenkins, a locum doctor, young and somewhat lost in a one-year old marriage to the love of her life - who lost his mind, has enough on her plate, and enough inexperience to make a royal mess of things. Especially when she gets entangled with her patients such as Mr. de Villier. He needs a favor, and Beth has enough challenges, with her demanding mother-in-law, a new mysterious friend, Fortunate, and circumstances pressuring her, to evacuate her poshy life in England for the more intimidating African bush. 

Zimbabwe has just been liberated. What promised to be heaven soon proved to be hell-on-steroids for the inhabitants and a little bit better for tourists with pockets full of spending money. For illegal tourists it gets even more tougher and thrilling! The adventures are more intense, the ambiance volatile. That is where Beth's break from her own reality leads her to. She would make enough mistakes to last her a lifetime, but would gain enough new insight into a world her husband, as an archaeologist, discovered and loved. Her voyage will ultimately lead her home - a place she was unable to find before. Home. It is not what she thought it was.

It is a great story. A relaxing, informative, adventure. A soft-landing for anyone interested in reading more about the African lifestyle behind the glitz and glamour of an African Safari, but with the same intensity and feeling of being-there. Really being there. Nothing in the book is outrageously extravagant or overly exaggerated. On the contrary! ...

This is a really enjoyable book. It is multidimensional - covering the life of a young woman finding her path in life, meeting warm-hearted, sincere Africans, introducing tragicomedian politicians acting out their mafia-style looting of a continent's resources, and addressing loves lost and found. These elements serve a smorgasbord of different interests, which makes it an informative, great read. 

It is the second book of Andrew J. H. Sharp that I read. I am looking forward to the third, for sure. 


Andrew Sharp's first novel, 
The Ghosts of Eden, won the 2010 Waverton Good Read Award and was shortlisted for the 2011 International Rubery Book Award.

Andrew was brought up in East Africa and has worked in Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe - where his second novel, Fortunate, is set. He is based in the East Midlands in the UK where he combines his medical work with writing.

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