In 1914 Karen Blixen arrived in Kenya with her husband to run a coffee farm. Instantly drawn to the land, she spent her happiest years there until the plantation failed. Karen Blixen was forced to return to Denmark in 1931 and it was there that she wrote this classic account of her experiences. A poignant farewell to her beloved farm, Out of Africa describes her strong friendships with the people of the area, her affection for the landscape and animals, and great love for the adventurer Denys Finch-Hatton.
Last month I finally got round to reading Out of Africa by Karen Blixen and I am so pleased that I finally got round to reading it! I initially bought this book last year after watching the film adaptation with my mum. I very much enjoyed the film for its stunning views of Africa and I thought that if the film was so beautiful the books descriptions of the African landscape must be too. But after reading the book I was disappointed with the lace of descriptive writing of the African landscape. Yet, I found myself picking out chunks of descriptive writing about the African natives as they were so descriptive and very interesting to me.
This book, or memoir, has 5 main chapters, four of which read very much like a memoir turned fiction story which I greatly enjoyed. However, there was one chapter, titled ‘From an Immigrant’s Notebook’ that I felt ruined and broke the stories chronological framework up and thus removed emotionally from the book. Also this chapter read very much like notes from a notebook. There were sub-chapters that were very short and didn’t add anything much to the story in a chronological sense and at this point I got rather bored as it felt as if Karen Blixen could no longer be bothered to weave these journaled parts of her life into a narrative and instead just copied them all down and shoved them into one chapter. Despite this, I did feel that the concluding chapter where Blixen says goodbye to her farm in Africa that all these little lose stories came together, in a way, to bid her farewell.
All in all, I very much enjoyed learning about Blixen’s time and life in Africa, especially about how the natives of Africa lived during this time.