Beneath an African Sky : Catherine Keese
Beneath an African Sky
When Catherine Keese first set out to write this book, she was full of trepidation. “How,” she asked, “would I ever be able to remember all the happenings of our lives back then, and more importantly the nuance of it all? Could I accurately portray the magnificent, equatorial landscape we called home, or the vastness of the African sky? Could I relate what life was like under the forbearance of Africa’s natural order where man, beast, and the elements lent constant danger and exhilaration to every hour of every day? Would I be able to adequately explain the fragility of our political posture and prospects? And could I do justice to the colorful characters who shared with us the anxieties and rewards of life in a British colony? I think I was horrified that I might end up with a book that defined mundaneness—like Lionel Hardcastle’s proverbial My Life in Kenya in the TV series ‘As Time Goes By’.”
In this fascinating book, told with great candor and humor, she adds: “. . . for better or worse, I offer the story of our family in Kenya, and the fascinating, pivotal times in which we lived. While told from my personal perspective, it is the record of a Scottish family’s evolution from its working-class roots in Glasgow, through emigration, war, jubilation, illness, defiance, loss, and redemption.
It is also the tale of life on a Kenya farm with all its trials and tribulations. Yet what remains for me is a picture of sun-drenched exuberance under that vast African sky—a Van Gogh painting whose bold, profuse brushstrokes and vibrant colors are the distillation of times gone by and all that happened to us. It’s a happy canvas that I gaze at a lot.”