In this book, the author of Seven Gothic Tales gives a true account of her life on her plantation in Kenya. She tells with classic simplicity of the ways of the country and the natives: of the beauty of the Ngong Hills and coffee trees in blossom: of her guests, from the Prince of Wales to Knudsen, the old charcoal burner, who visited her: of primitive festivals: of big game that were her near neighbors--lions, rhinos, elephants, zebras, buffaloes--and of Lulu, the little gazelle who came to live with her, unbelievably ladylike and beautiful.
Let's set the scene...
After Luke realizes that he might ruin his entire relationship by giving Rachel a set of cat potholders, Lorelai offers to shop for him,
Lorelai: Where's Rachel?
Luke: She's out running some errands.
Lorelai: Good. Okay, last week we were talking about Meryl Streep and the whole accent thing and Rachel said that she loved "Out of Africa" but she'd never read the book, remember?
Lorelai: Okay, so I was like, "Are you crazy? Isak Dinesen is amazing, I love her." Which is kind of crap because I'd never read the book either, but Rory told me it was amazing, so I felt pretty confident in my recommendation of "Out of Africa". (Pulls the book out of a shopping bag and hands it to Luke.)
Luke: You bought her a book?
Lorelai: No, you bought her a book, to be put in her brand new camera bag. (Pulls the camera bag out of another shopping bag.)
I love the girlpower that is obvious throughout this entire story, but isn't harped on as unusual. Baroness or no, Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen is her pen name) makes a life for herself in an African village. Not only does she build a life for herself, but she ends up being the center of an entire community that unites people of various backgrounds and tribes.
Dinesen writes the characters and their circumstances with a real and intimate portrayal. She does not condscend or sympathize with the people whose world she has infiltrated. Instead, she works hard to find her own role within their society... so as not to intrude but to enhance the interpersonal relationships that already exist.
Baroness Blixen had a unique insight into the thumping heart of Africa and that heart becomes her own.
My biggest complaint?: not enough stories about cute lion cubs.
Who do I see reading this in the Stars Hollow gazebo?
Although it's for his short-lived girlfriend, I can see Luke reading this and secretly wondering where the cute lion cubs are.