by Sukey HowardNovember, 1998
If you loved Out of Africa . . .
Rules of the Wild (3 hours), Francesca Marciano's literary debut, is a striking novel about looking for love and finding vulnerability, looking for escape from the past and finding that it is always there. Esme, the narrator and central character, leaves Italy after her eccentric poet father dies and goes to Kenya with a man she's not that fond of. She stays on, thinking that she might find new life and freedom in those heroically vast plains, but finds herself in a small, claustrophobic circle of expatriates who know each other all too well. She falls in love with Adam, a strong second-generation Kenyan who loves Africa, and then with Hunter, a journalist made haggard by its horrors. She realizes finally that the exterior landscape can't change her interior landscape, that to come of age is to come to terms with one's self.
Sukey Howard reports on spoken word audio each month.