Olive the Lionheart: Lost Love, Imperial Spies, and One Woman’s Journey to the Heart of Africa

Olive the Lionheart: Lost Love, Imperial Spies, and One Woman’s Journey to the Heart of Africa

Author:  Brad Ricca
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Pages: 400
On Sale: August 11, 2020
Genre: Non Fiction, History, Biography, Travel
Stars: 2/5

From the Publisher:

From the Edgar-nominated author of the bestselling Mrs. Sherlock Holmes comes the true story of a woman’s quest to Africa in the 1900s to find her missing fiancé, and the adventure that ensues.

In 1910, Olive MacLeod, a thirty-year-old, redheaded Scottish aristocrat, received word that her fiancé, the famous naturalist Boyd Alexander, was missing in Africa.

So she went to find him.

Olive the Lionheart is the thrilling true story of her astonishing journey. In jungles, swamps, cities, and deserts, Olive and her two companions, the Talbots, come face-to-face with cobras and crocodiles, wise native chiefs, a murderous leopard cult, a haunted forest, and even two adorable lion cubs that she adopts as her own. Making her way in a pair of ill-fitting boots, Olive awakens to the many forces around her, from shadowy colonial powers to an invisible Islamic warlord who may hold the key to Boyd’s disappearance. As these secrets begin to unravel, all of Olive’s assumptions prove wrong and she is forced to confront the darkest, most shocking secret of all: why she really came to Africa in the first place.

Drawing on Olive’s own letters and secret diaries, Olive the Lionheart is a love story that defies all boundaries, set against the backdrop of a beautiful, unconquerable Africa.

From Me:

This book had a lot of potential, but the pace really lost it for me. I found Olive to be kind of wishy-washy in the beginning with her feelings and decisions, but once she sets out for Africa she definitely had more of a spine. That sounded like quite a hard journey for an aristocrat. Regardless, the whole thing just kind of plodded along at a slow pace and even the exciting incidents didn’t spark a lot of interest. The history and geography was interesting, but this was not the exciting journey that I expected.