Dance of the Jakaranda
In this highly entertaining tale of the quest to build a railroad from Mombasa to Nairobi, in what at the time was the British East Africa Protectorate, we follow several characters whose lives are separated by race but intertwined by circumstances. Babu Salim has come from the Punjab as a technician to work on the railroad and his boss an Englishman, Ian McDonald takes an instant dislike to him, which has consequences that will follow him throughout the rest of the story. As the story progresses, we get to know Rajan, Babu's grandson, who is a performer at the Jakaranda Club a mainstay in the local community. But unbeknownst to Rajan, his attempt to find the woman of his dreams, will open up a world of secrets that will affect the whole cast of characters. And while Babu and the older characters were players in the struggle to build a railroad, Rajan's era will be defined by the struggle for Kenyan independence, creating another layer of drama to the story.
In this clever and mesmerizing story, the author takes the reader on a journey to another time and place, where twists and turns provide a truly entertaining ride.
Thanks to Akashic Books for allowing me to read this book in exchange for a review.