A Guide to the Birds of East Africa by Nicholas Drayson

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Synopsis

A beguiling novel that does for contemporary Kenya and its 1,000 species of birds what Alexander McCall Smith’s Ladies Detective series does for Botswana

For the past three years, the widower Mr. Malik has been secretly in love with Rose Mbikwa, a woman who leads the weekly bird walks sponsored by the East African Ornithological Society. Reserved and honorable, Malik wouldn't be noticed by a bystander in a Nairobi street—except perhaps to comment on his carefully sculpted combover. But beneath that unprepossessing exterior lies a warm heart and a secret passion.

But just as Malik is getting up the nerve to invite Rose to the Nairobi Hunt Club Ball (the premier social occasion of the Kenyan calendar), who should pop up but his nemesis from his school days. The jokester Harry Khan, good-looking in a flashy way and quick of foot, has also become enraptured with the object of Malik’s affection.
So begins the competition cooked up by fellow members of the Asadi club: whoever can identify the most species of birds in one week’s time gets the privilege of asking Ms. Mbikwa to the ball.
Set against the lush Kenyan landscape rich with wildlife and political intrigue, this irresistible novel has been sold in eight countries and is winning fans worldwide.
 

About Nicholas Drayson

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Nicholas Drayson, a writer and naturalist, was formerly a curator at the National Museum in Canberra, Australia.
 
Published March 5, 2009 by Penguin. 210 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Literature & Fiction, Science & Math, Romance, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Action & Adventure. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for A Guide to the Birds of East Africa

Kirkus Reviews

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A lighthearted novel about birding and a wager to win the right to call a woman for a date.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of A Guide to the Birds of East ...

Publishers Weekly

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A charming love triangle in Nairobi, Kenya, forms the center of a novel that manages to be both sweet and gripping. Mr. Malik, a quiet widower guided by a naïve crush, spends his Tuesdays on b

Jun 09 2008 | Read Full Review of A Guide to the Birds of East ...

BC Books

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Romance, rivalry, and bird-watching in Nairobi are within the sights of this witty and delightful novel.

Feb 04 2009 | Read Full Review of A Guide to the Birds of East ...

Star Tribune

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An engaging novel about two men, one woman and hundreds upon hundreds of birds.

Oct 17 2008 | Read Full Review of A Guide to the Birds of East ...

The Bookbag

Mr Malik has twin passions - the colourful birds of his Kenyan home, and Rose Mbikwa - I'm typing this sentence with Mr Malik's coiffure attitude, and I will not pun - doyenne of the East African Ornithological Society.

Feb 19 2011 | Read Full Review of A Guide to the Birds of East ...

Reader Rating for A Guide to the Birds of East Africa
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