A Spear of Summer Grass [NOOK Book]

Overview

Paris, 1923

The daughter of a scandalous mother, Delilah Drummond is already notorious, even among Paris society. But her latest scandal is big enough to make even her oft-married mother blanch. Delilah is exiled to Kenya and her favorite stepfather's savanna manor house until gossip subsides.

Fairlight is the crumbling, sun-bleached skeleton of a faded African dream, a ...

See more details below
A Spear of Summer Grass

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook - Original)
$10.49
BN.com price
(Save 12%)$11.99 List Price

Overview

Paris, 1923

The daughter of a scandalous mother, Delilah Drummond is already notorious, even among Paris society. But her latest scandal is big enough to make even her oft-married mother blanch. Delilah is exiled to Kenya and her favorite stepfather's savanna manor house until gossip subsides.

Fairlight is the crumbling, sun-bleached skeleton of a faded African dream, a world where dissolute expats are bolstered by gin and jazz records, cigarettes and safaris. As mistress of this wasted estate, Delilah falls into the decadent pleasures of society.

Against the frivolity of her peers, Ryder White stands in sharp contrast. As foreign to Delilah as Africa, Ryder becomes her guide to the complex beauty of this unknown world. Giraffes, buffalo, lions and elephants roam the shores of Lake Wanyama amid swirls of red dust. Here, life is lush and teeming—yet fleeting and often cheap.

Amidst the wonders—and dangers—of Africa, Delilah awakes to a land out of all proportion: extremes of heat, darkness, beauty and joy that cut to her very heart. Only when this sacred place is profaned by bloodshed does Delilah discover what is truly worth fighting for—and what she can no longer live without.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
It's 1923, and Delilah Drummond is a modern woman who doesn't mind a little scandal, but the questionable circumstances of her soon-to-be ex-husband are better avoided. Sent by family to Kenya as a distraction, she finds this vast new world is perfectly suited to her particular habits and abilities. Strangely, it's the people, not the unfamiliar animals, who are the troublesome creatures, including the dashing Ryder White. Longtime fans prepare your happy dance, then make room for a legion of new followers as word of Raybourn's (The Dark Enquiry; Dark Road to Darjeeling) completely satisfying new stand-alone historical spreads. Characters with deeply interior flaws rising slowly to the surface and an exotic setting that creates its own sense of drama will make readers want to savor each page while desperately needing to know what happens next. Cultural details of the European community in Africa and the Creole community of New Orleans overlap in unexpected ways, meshing unexpectedly with lore of the Masai in Kenya. VERDICT From sweetly touching moments requiring tissues to hot-blooded hunts for prey of both two and four-legged varieties, this book elicits the widest range of emotions, and does it with style.—Stacey Hayman, Rocky River P.L., OH
Publishers Weekly
Bestselling author Raybourn’s latest (after The Dark Enquiry), set in 1920’s Kenya, finds plucky, party-loving American divorcee Delilah Drummond about to be shunned from Parisian social life when her husband kills himself after receiving her divorce papers. With Delilah’s team of advisors insisting she seek refuge while the story cools off, she reluctantly agrees to an African excursion with her plodding cousin Dora as chaperone. Even on another continent, Delilah’s reputation precedes her, yet she harbors more heartbreak and depth than is evident from her actions. With her unflappable veneer in place, Delilah meets Ryder White, an intriguing, maddening man who challenges her bravado. Despite her initial dismay at her exile, Delilah finds her nursing experience helpful to the local Kikuyu, which brings her life the purpose it had been missing. As Delilah adjusts to her exotic new landscape, she finds more than she expected, both in the people she meets and within herself. Rayburn’s breezy, straightforward style is a nice counterpoint to the complexity of her heroine. Agent: Pam Hopkins, Hopkins Literary Associates. (May)
From the Publisher
"With a strong and unique voice, Deanna Raybourn creates unforgettable characters in a richly detailed world. This is storytelling at its most compelling."
-Nora Roberts, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"[A] perfectly executed debut...Deft historical detailing [and] sparkling first-person narration."
-Publishers Weekly starred review on Silent in the Grave

"A riveting drama that makes page turning obligatory. A very fine debut effort from Deanna Raybourn."
-Bookreporter.com on Silent in the Grave

"A sassy heroine and a masterful, secretive hero. Fans of romantic mystery could ask no more-except the promised sequel."
-Kirkus Reviews on Silent in the Grave

"This debut novel has one of the most clever endings I've seen."
-Karen Harper, New York Times bestselling author on Silent in the Grave

"Deceptively civilized and proper, Silent in the Grave has undercurrents of nefarious deeds, secrets and, my favorite, poisons. An excellent debut novel."
-Maria V. Snyder, author of Poison Study on Silent in the Grave

"There are some lovely twists in the plot and a most satisfactory surprise ending. I hope to read more from Deanna Raybourn in time to come."
-Valerie Anand, author of The Siren Queen, written under the name of Fiona Buckley, on Silent in the Grave

"Fans and new readers alike will welcome this sparkling sequel to Raybourn's debut Victorian mystery, Silent in the Grave...the complex mystery, a delightfully odd collection of characters and deft period details produce a rich and funny read."
-Publishers Weekly on Silent in the Sanctuary

"Raybourn skillfully balances humor and earnest, deadly drama, creating well-drawn characters and a rich setting."
-Publishers Weekly on Dark Road to Darjeeling

"Beyond the development of Julia's detailed world, her boisterous family and dashing husband, this book provides a clever mystery and unique perspective on the Victorian era through the eyes of an unconventional lady."
-Library Journal on The Dark Enquiry

Kirkus Reviews
Part romance, part travelogue, part murder mystery, featuring characters whose paths cross in the wilds of Africa. The story revolves around Delilah Drummond, a vain and promiscuous young woman whose behavior has caught the attention of the media and embarrassed her grandfather, a wealthy landowner in Louisiana who extends a generous allowance to Delilah and her mother, Mossy, the woman Delilah has emulated. Mother and daughter meet in Paris after Delilah's latest husband commits suicide before their divorce is finalized. One of his cousins has filed suit against Delilah for the family jewels. It is Delilah's greedy and callous response that has inspired the media attention. Delilah's mother and one of Delilah's ex-stepfathers, Nigel, as well as one of her own ex-husbands (now her friend and attorney), advise her to maintain a lower profile and suggest she spend some time in Africa on Nigel's estate. Once in Africa, Delilah meets an old friend, an artist with whom she will have an affair, and the fascinating Ryder White, with whom she will fall in love. Delilah also meets the neighboring wealthy white landowners, as well as many poor natives. Africa transforms Delilah in ways she could never imagine. An exotic journey of redemption.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781460311905
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 4/30/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 86,205
  • File size: 386 KB

Meet the Author

Deanna Raybourn

New York Times bestselling author Deanna Raybourn graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a double major in English and history and an emphasis on Shakespearean studies. She taught high school English for three years in San Antonio before leaving education to pursue a career as a novelist. Deanna makes her home in Virginia, where she lives with her husband and daughter and is hard at work on her next novel.

Biography

If there is one thing that novelist Deanna Raybourn has learned, it is the old adage "write what you read." Before penning her critically hailed debut, a spellbinding historical mystery titled Silent in the Grave, she spent years struggling to perfect the romance novel. Native Texan Raybourn wrote her first romance at the age of 23. Although she did receive some attention from potential publishers, she failed to publish the book. Ultimately, she stored it away in a box in her attic. Over the next several years, that manuscript would be joined by eight more, all written in the same lusty vein. That's when she finally had the revelation that would lead to her first published novel. "I lean more towards mystery and historical fiction in my reading, so I finally decided to write what I read," she explains on her website. "Apparently THAT is the magical formula for success, in case anyone is writing this down." Two years later, she had finished Silent in the Grave and Mira Books ("known in my house as The Finest Publishing Company on The Planet," Raybourn says) picked it up.

Raybourn's sprawling debut novel takes its title from a foreboding quote in the Bible's book of Psalms: "Let the wicked be ashamed and let them be silent in the grave." This is the final threat that London society hound Sir Edmund Grey receives before he unexpectedly falls dead in the middle of a dinner party. While his wife Julia initially believes Edmund's death to be the result of a preexisting heart condition, private agent Nicholas Brisbane informs her that he believes her husband's death to be of a more insidious nature. When Julia solicits Brisbane to find the killer, they are both drawn into a dangerous mystery and drawn to each other.

Silent in the Grave garnered much praise from Raybourn's fellow writers, the online community, and the literary press for its masterfully paced suspense and historical authenticity. Karen Harper, who wrote the bestselling thriller Hurricane, applauded, "This debut novel has one of the most clever endings I've seen." Dana Stabenow of PoisenedPen.com declared that Raybourn has a "strong voice akin to Amelia Peabody's, a superbly realized setting—you'll choke on the coal smoke of Raybourn's Victorian London." Meanwhile, Publishers Weekly called Silent in the Grave a "perfectly executed debut," while Kirkus insisted, "Bring on the sequel"! That demand was promptly met, as Raybourn continues to add to her Lady Julia Grey mystery series.

Good To Know

Although Raybourn says that the ultra-busy schedule of a hot new writer does not allow for much free time, she admits that she regularly allows herself spare moments throughout the day to mourn the loss of her favorite show Will & Grace.

On her web site, Raybourn boasts, "I double-majored in history and English, which means I know how to find Jesus imagery in any book you care to give me, and then I can write a fifty-page paper about it with footnotes."

A few interesting outtakes from our interview with Raybourn:

"I taught English for three years, and my favorite lesson was my Trojan War lecture. It lasted three days. Aside from teaching, I was written up for insubordination at every job I ever had. The first book I remember writing was a diary of Marie Antoinette when I was in third grade."

"I read like a fiend. I knit badly, but I just learned to purl, so I'm hoping things will pick up. I am addicted to podcasts—I currently have 600 loaded onto my iPod that I have yet to listen to. I watch too much television, usually classic movies, the History Channel, or Will & Grace reruns. I adore astrology and am always downloading natal charts. I am a Gemini with Libra rising and a Pisces moon."

Read More Show Less
    1. Hometown:
      Williamsburg, Virginia
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 17, 1968
    2. Place of Birth:
      Ft. Worth, Texas
    1. Education:
      B.A. in English and History, University of Texas at San Antonio, 1990
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Don't believe the stories you have heard about me. I have never killed anyone, and I have never stolen another woman's husband. Oh, if I find one lying around unattended, I might climb on, but I never took one that didn't want taking. And I never meant to go to Africa. I blame it on the weather. It was a wretched day in Paris, grey and gloomy and spitting with rain, when I was summoned to my mother's suite at the Hotel de Crillon. I had dressed carefully for the occasion, not because Mossy would care—my mother is curiously unfussy about such things. But I knew wearing something chic would make me feel a little better about the ordeal to come. So I put on a divine little Molyneux dress in scarlet silk with a matching cloche, topped it with a clever chinchilla stole and left my suite, boarded the lift and rode up two floors to her rooms.

My mother's Swedish maid answered the door with a scowl.

"Good afternoon, Ingeborg. I hope you've been well?"

The scowl deepened. "Your mother is worried about you," she informed me coldly. "And I am worried about your mother." Ingeborg had been worrying about my mother since before I was born. The fact that I had been a breech baby was enough to put me in her black books forever.

"Oh, don't fuss, Ingeborg. Mossy is strong as an ox. All her people live to be a hundred or more."

Ingeborg gave me another scowl and ushered me into the main room of the suite. Mossy was there, of course, holding court in the centre of a group of gentlemen. This was nothing new. Since her debut in New Orleans some thirty years before she had never been at a loss for masculine attention. She was standing at the fireplace, one elbow propped on the marble mantelpiece, dressed for riding and exhaling a cloud of cigarette smoke as she talked.

"But that's just not possible, Nigel. I'm afraid it simply won't do." She was arguing with her ex-husband, but you'd have to know her well to realise it. Mossy never raised her voice.

"What won't do? Did Nigel propose something scandalous?" I asked hopefully. The men turned as one to look at me, and Mossy's lips curved into a wide grin.

"Hello, darling. Come and kiss me." I did as she told me to, swiftly dropping a kiss to one powdered cheek. But not swiftly enough. She nipped me sharply with her fingertips as I edged away. "You've been naughty, Delilah. Time to pay the piper, darling."

I looked around the room, smiling at each of the gentlemen in turn. Nigel, my former stepfather, was a rotund Englishman with a florid complexion and a heart condition, and at the moment he looked about ten minutes past death. Quentin Harkness was there too, I was happy to see, and I stood on tiptoe to kiss him. Like Mossy, I've had my share of matrimonial mishaps. Quentin was the second. He was a terrible husband, but he's a divine ex and an even better solicitor.

"How is Cornelia?" I asked him. "And the twins? Walking yet?"

"Last month actually. And Cornelia is fine, thanks," he said blandly. I only asked to be polite and he knew it. Cornelia had been engaged to him before our marriage, and she had snapped him back up before the ink was dry on our divorce papers. But the children were sweet, and I was glad he seemed happy. Of course, Quentin was English. It was difficult to tell how he felt about most things.

I leaned closer. "How much trouble am I in?" I whispered. He bent down, his mouth just grazing the edge of my bob.

"Rather a lot."

I pulled a face at him and took a seat on one of the fragile little sofas scattered about, crossing my legs neatly at the ankle just as my deportment teacher had taught me.

"Really, Miss Drummond, I do not think you comprehend the gravity of the situation at all," Mossy's English solicitor began. I struggled to remember his name. Weatherby? Enderby? Endicott?

I smiled widely, showing off Mossy's rather considerable investment in my orthodontia.

"I assure you I do, Mr.—" I broke off and caught a flicker of a smile on Quentin's face. Drat him. I carried on as smoothly as I could manage. "That is to say, I am quite sure things will come right in the end. I have every intention of taking your excellent advice." I had learned that particular soothing tone from Mossy. She usually used it on horses, but I found it worked equally well with men. Maybe better.

"I am not at all certain of that," replied Mr. Weatherby. Or perhaps Mr. Endicott. "You do realise that the late prince's family are threatening legal action to secure the return of the Volkonsky jewels?"

I sighed and rummaged in my bag for a Sobranie. By the time I had fixed the cigarette into the long ebony holder, Quentin and Nigel were at my side, offering a light. I let them both light it—it doesn't do to play favourites—and blew out a cunning little smoke ring.

"Oh, that is clever," Mossy said. "You must teach me how to do it."

"It's all in the tongue," I told her. Quentin choked a little, but I turned wide-eyed to Mr. Enderby. "Misha didn't have family," I explained. "His mother and sisters came out of Russia with him during the Revolution, but his father and brother were with the White Army. They were killed in Siberia along with every other male member of his family. Misha only got out because he was too young to fight."

"There is the Countess Borghaliev," he began, but I waved a hand.

"Feathers! The countess was Misha's governess. She might be related, but she's only a cousin, and a very distant one at that. She is certainly not entitled to the Volkonsky jewels." And even if she were, I had no intention of giving them up. The original collection had been assembled over the better part of three centuries and it was all the Volkonskys had taken with them as they fled. Misha's mother and sisters had smuggled them out of Russia by sewing them into their clothes, all except the biggest of them. The Kokotchny emerald had been stuffed into an unmentionable spot by Misha's mother before she left the mother country, and nobody ever said, but I bet she left it walking a little funny. She had assumed—and rightly as it turned out—that officials would be squeamish about searching such a place, and with a good washing it had shone as brightly as ever, all eighty carats of it. At least, that was the official story of the jewels. I knew a few things that hadn't made the papers, things Misha had entrusted to me as his wife. I would sooner set my own hair on fire than see that vicious old Borghaliev cow discover the truth.

"Perhaps that is so," Mr. Endicott said, his expression severe, "but she is speaking to the press. Coming on the heels of the prince's suicide and your own rather cavalier attitude towards mourning, the whole picture is a rather unsavoury one."

I looked at Quentin, but he was studying his nails, an old trick that meant he wasn't going to speak until he was good and ready. And poor Nigel just looked as if his stomach hurt. Only Mossy seemed indignant, and I smiled a little to show her I appreciated her support.

"You needn't smile about it, pet," she said, stubbing out her cigarette and lighting a fresh one. "Weatherby's right. It is a pickle. I don't need your name dragged through the mud just now. And Quentin's practice is doing very well. Do you think he appreciates his ex-wife cooking up a scandal?"

I narrowed my eyes at her. "Darling, what do you mean you don't need my name dragged through the mud just now? What do you have going?"

Mossy looked to Nigel who shifted a little in his chair. "Mossy has been invited to the wedding of the Duke of York to the Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon this month."

I blinked. The wedding of the second in line to the throne was the social event of the year and one that ought to have been entirely beyond the pale for Mossy. "The queen doesn't receive divorced women. How on earth did you manage that?"

Mossy's lips thinned. "It's a private occasion, not Court," she corrected. "Besides, you know how devoted I have always been to the Strathmores. The countess is one of my very dearest friends. It's terribly gracious of them to invite me to their daughter's big day, and it would not do to embarrass them with any sort of talk."

Ah, talk. The euphemism I had heard since childhood, the bane of my existence. I thought of how many times we had moved, from England to Spain to Argentina to Paris, and every time it was with the spectre of talk snapping at our heels. Mossy's love affairs and business ventures were legendary. She could create more scandal by breakfast than most women would in an entire lifetime. She was larger than life, my Mossy, and in living that very large life she had accidentally crushed quite a few people under her dainty size-five shoe. She never understood that, not even now. She was standing in a hotel suite that cost more for a single night than most folks made in a year, and she could pay for it with the spare change she had in her pockets, but she would never understand that she had damaged people to get there.

Of course, she noticed it at once if I did anything amiss, I thought irritably. Let one of her marriages fail and it was entirely beyond her control, but if I got divorced it was because I didn't try hard enough or didn't understand how to be a wife.

"Don't sulk, Delilah," she ordered. "You are far too old to pout."

"I am not pouting," I retorted, sounding about fourteen as I said it. I sighed and turned back to the solicitor. "You see, Mr. Weatherby, people just don't understand my relationship with Misha. Our marriage was over long before he put that bullet into his head." Mr. Weatherby winced visibly. I tried again. "It was no surprise to Misha that I wanted a divorce. And the fact that he killed himself immediately after he received the divorce papers is not my fault. I even saw Misha that morning and stressed to him I wanted things to be very civil. I am friends with all of my husbands."

"I'm the only one still living," Quentin put in, rather unhelpfully, I thought.

I stuck out my tongue at him again and turned back to Mr. Weatherby. "As to the jewels, Misha's mother and both sisters died in the Spanish flu outbreak in '19. He inherited the jewels outright, and he gave them to me as a wedding gift."

"They would have been returned as part of the divorce settlement," Weatherby reminded me.

"There was no divorce," I said, trumping him neatly. "Misha did not sign the papers before he died. I am therefore technically a widow and entitled to my husband's estate as he died with neither a will nor issue."

Mr. Weatherby took out a handkerchief and mopped his brow. "Be that as it may, Miss Drummond, the whole affair is playing out quite badly in the press. If you could only be more discreet about the matter, perhaps put on proper mourning or use your rightful name."

"Delilah Drummond is my rightful name. I have never taken a husband's name or title, and I never will. Frankly, I think it's a little late in the day to start calling myself Princess Volkonsky." Quentin twitched a little, but I ignored him. The truth was I had seen Mossy change her name more times than I could count on one hand, and it was hell on the linen and the silver. Far more sensible to keep a single monogram. "It's a silly, antiquated custom," I went on. "You men have been forcing us to change our names for the last four thousand years. Why don't we switch it up? You lot can take our names for the next few millennia and see how you like it."

"Stop her before she builds up a head of steam," Mossy instructed Nigel. She hated it when I talked about women's rights.

Nigel sat forward in his chair, a kindly smile wreathing his gentle features. "My dear, you know you have always held a special place in my affections. You are the nearest thing to a daughter I have known."

I smiled back. Nigel had always been my favourite stepfather. His first wife had given him a pair of dull sons, and they had already been away at school when he married Mossy and we had gone to live at his country estate. He had enjoyed the novelty of having a girl about the place and never made himself a nuisance like some of the other stepfathers did. A few of them had actually tried on fatherhood for size, meddling in my schooling, torturing the governesses with questions about what I ate and how my French was coming along. Nigel just got on with things, letting me have the run of the library and kitchens as I pleased. Whenever he saw me, he always patted my head affectionately and asked how I was before pottering off to tend to his orchids. He taught me to shoot and to ride and how to back a winner at the races. I rather regretted it when Mossy left him, but it was typical of Nigel that he let her go without a fight. I was fifteen when we packed up, and on our last morning, when the cases were locked and stacked up in the hall and the house had already started to echo in a way I knew only too well, I asked him how he could just let her leave. He gave me his sad smile and told me they had struck a bargain when he proposed. He promised her that if she married him and later changed her mind, he wouldn't stand in her way. He'd kept her for four years—two more than any of the others. I hoped that comforted him.

Nigel continued. "We have discussed the matter at length, Delilah, and we all agree that it is best for you if you retire from public life for a bit. You're looking thin and pale, my dear. I know that is the fashion for society beauties these days," he added with a melancholy little twinkle, "but I should so like to see you with roses in your cheeks again."

To my horror, I felt tears prickling the backs of my eyes. I wondered if I was starting a cold. I blinked hard and looked away.

"That's very kind of you, Nigel." It was kind, but that didn't mean I was convinced. I turned back, stiffening my resolve.

"Look, I've read the newspapers. The Borghaliev woman has done her worst already. She's a petty, nasty creature and she is spreading petty, nasty gossip which only petty, nasty people will listen to."

"You've just described all of Paris society, dear," Mossy put in. "And London. And New York."

I shrugged. "Other people's opinions of me are none of my business."

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 34 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(26)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 34 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 30, 2013

    I enjoyed A Spear of Summer Grass immensely. The author did a f

    I enjoyed A Spear of Summer Grass immensely. The author did a fantastic job of capturing 1920's Africa allowing readers to immerse themselves in the period. The main characters Delilah Drummond and Ryder White have superb chemistry, and every scene with them sparkles. Supporting characters are well written and add depth to the plot. This novel was full of adventure, fascinating characters, romance, and a little mystery.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2013

    All I can is WOW!

    The Lady Julia novels are great. This book is super great! I felt I was there in AFRICA with Delilah. WOW,WOW ,WOW!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 4, 2013

    Highly Recommended. Deanna Raybourn has long been my favorite a

    Highly Recommended.

    Deanna Raybourn has long been my favorite author, but that was because of her work on the Victorian-set Lady Julia series. A Spear of Summer Grass is a departure for Raybourn, set in the wilds of 1920s East Africa.

    The not-always likable heroine, Delilah Drummond, is a vain and jaded young woman, who is exiled to Africa after scandalizing European society one time too many. Delilah arrives in couture-worthy white suede shoes, which are promptly spattered in human blood. Africa is a wild place, where fate can turn on a dime, but we quickly learn that Delilah boasts more mettle than the frivolous character she initially seems to portray.

    Fans of Downtown Abbey who are familiar with this era will be shocked at the behavior of the British colonialists who indulge in all manner of sin: drugs, adultery, fraud, even murder. Delilah is quickly swept up into this world, connecting with old friends and meeting mysterious new neighbors, including the ruggedly attractive Ryder White.

    A Spear of Summer Grass is an epic, romantic adventure that will transport you to the breathtaking and devastating wilds of East Africa -- from safari hunts in the African bush to the villages of the Masai tribes. The book is a page-turning adventure from start to finish, and, like me, you will not be able to put it down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 1, 2013

    Simply Stunning!

    You know the saying, “You can’t judge a book by its cover”? Even in this case, it is true. A SPEAR OF SUMMER GRASS contains every bit the exoticism, beauty, and romance evoked in the picture above AND MORE. The beautifully composed story inside is breathtaking -- beyond anything an artist could capture on canvas. Filled with decadence, danger, passion, and heartbreak, it is the tale of a glamorous and damaged woman’s journey of self discovery.

    As the summary suggests, the notorious Delilah Drummond is not your typical heroine. In fact, when we first meet the thrice wed, sleek, sexy, make no apologies flapper, her conduct seems anything BUT befitting a protagonist. Delilah’s latest scandal has resulted in the threat of legal action and, desperate to avoid unwanted attention from the press and her grandfather’s snip of the purse strings, it is decided that Delilah’s best bet is to lay low for awhile… in Africa.

    Delilah sets off for her former step-father’s estate in Kenya with her cousin, and dutiful chaperone, Dora in tow. A study in contrasts, Dora is as dull as Delilah is dynamic, and some of the wittiest moments in this novel occur at the expense of poor old “Dodo”. But like the yin and yang, there is balance in the contrast between the cousins; they are two opposites that co-exist in harmony (for the most part) and it is through Delilah’s interactions with Dora that we catch our first glimpse of what lies beneath Delilah’s powdered and painted party girl veneer.

    Delilah and Dora are as different as night and day, but our headstrong heroine and our hero, J. Ryder White, are very similar indeed. Just like Delilah, Ryder has a commanding yet easy presence, and sex appeal that nearly lights the pages on fire. He is as mysterious as he is skilled at navigating the harsh and beautiful land of Africa. And to the surprise of the “Princess” who ‘… collected [handsome men’s smiles] like other women collected air to breathe.’(141), Delilah quickly discovers that she has met her match in the game of seduction.

    As she adjusts to her temporary life in exile, Delilah finds that Africa holds many more surprises. With old acquaintances settled nearby, the creature comforts of Paris -- champagne, gossip, and dalliance -- are still very much within her grasp. But as she is thrust into a role of responsibility, forming alliances with Ryder and people of neighboring tribes, Delilah can no longer ignore the pull of Africa and the things that truly matter.

    One of the strongest characters in this novel is Africa itself; the harsh, relentless beauty of the land and its creatures, the diversity and strength of its people. In a beautifully poetic way, Deanna Raybourn paints a vibrant picture of Africa as grand and breathtaking as a Thomas Cole landscape: “The sun was dipping low to the ground, brushing the last of its warm rays over the shimmering surface, and turning the waters to molten gold. A flock of flamingos rose suddenly, flashing their gaudy feathers in a pink farewell as they departed. Across the lake a hippopotamus wore a crown of water lilies draped drunkenly over one eye and munched contentedly as a light breeze ruffled the lake water. I took a deep breath and saw, for just an instant, the Africa I had thought to find. Then, in a violent burst of crimson and gold, the sun shimmered hotly on the lake and was gone, sinking below the horizon, leaving only purple-blue shadows lengthening behind.”(80)

    There are so many things I love

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2013

    Delilah Drummond is banished by her family from polite (and not

    Delilah Drummond is banished by her family from polite (and not so polite) society in Paris to rusticate at Fairlight, her uncle's plantation, near Mombasa. Near is a relative term depending on the coming of the long rains when the roads are barely passable.

    Fairlight might have been called an operating plantation if the irrigation system operated properly. As it is, Delilah and her cousin, Dora, are immersed in a mystery which is, at first, barely perceptible. She encounters a hunter and guide who hates guiding and seems to have bagged most of the women in the area. A challenge? Perhaps.

    Delilah carries her own ghosts who reach from the past and seek to capture her future. She is changed by the people and the experiences she encounters. She is, however, an excellent shot.

    I could not put this book down: Received it on Friday evening and finished it on Sunday afternoon. Deanna Raybourn just gets better and better.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2013

    This was an utterly delightful read. Deanna Raybourn has a mar

    This was an utterly delightful read. Deanna Raybourn has a marvelous talent for painting a scene and I felt as though I were with her main character, Delilah, taking in Africa for the first time.
    I thought the characters, even if I didn't like some of them, were rich and well written and I wished that I could have had more time with them.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 30, 2013

    Wonderful book! If you've read any of Deanna's other books, you

    Wonderful book! If you've read any of Deanna's other books, you will certainly enjoy this one. If not, settle in for an atmospheric adventure into Africa. I enjoyed the characters, the location and the chance to peak into the very interesting time period and social lifestyles of the 1920’s. Don’t miss her introduction novella “Far in the Wilds” for a sneak peek into some of the characters.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 30, 2013

    Loved it! The lush surroundings of colonial Kenya in the 20s wer

    Loved it! The lush surroundings of colonial Kenya in the 20s were so well captured by Raybourn. Just a wonderful look back to a time and place that I haven't read much about. Delilah Drummond is a multi-faceted sparkling creature who tears through life (and men) without a care. But Africa and Ryder White make her prove her mettle. Really, really enjoyable. I love Raybourn's Lady Julia & Brisbane books, but this wonderful departure shows she has the talent to push beyond what we expect. Five stars for sure.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2014

    Exciting & Fun Read

    Enjoyed this story with its original plot and intriguing main character.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2014

    Amazing

    I devoured this book in one afternoon. It is one of those literary diamonds that you only stumble upon once or twice. There are so many things to like about this novel!!! A touch between Great Gatsby and Gone with the Wind. Loved Delilah, Africa, Ryder...suberb writing.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 22, 2014

    Highly recommmend

    This book had me right away. I like the time period and setting of the story. I enjoyed it very much.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2014

    Loved the settung and time period.

    This book sure kept my attention. Very interesting characters. All types of people are represented. Another good historical fiction is "The Partisan" by William Jarvis. Both books deserve A+++++++

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 14, 2013

    I have to say I had not had the pleasure of reading any of Deann

    I have to say I had not had the pleasure of reading any of Deanna Raybourn's work in the past. When I won a copy of A Spear of Summer Grass from goodreads, I was excited to try her work. Ms. Raybourn is a very talented writer that transported me to Africa with her descriptions and characters. I really enjoyed A Spear of Summer Grass and I hope there is more to come about these fun and intriguing characters.




    Delilah Drummond is portrayed as a spoiled rich brat at the beginning of the book. She has pushed her luck one too many times and her family feels it is time for her to disappear out of the lime light for a while so the gossip may die down. When Delilah gets to Africa and starts to interact with the locals, she turns out to have a much bigger heart than I originally thought. The more I read about Delilah the more I grew to like this out spoken woman. She's a hoot and has no problem at all letting people know what she thinks.




    Ryder White is a handsome man with many talents. He is not at all what Delilah expects at first and it's fun to watch these two get to know each other. They have a good time bickering and yet you feel their connection. 




    There is some mystery, drama, romance, and overall just some really great scenes in this book. I had no problem at all becoming totally immersed in this book. It really is a fascinating story. There are so many things that happen, I really don't want to give away any of the surprises. So I'm going to let you read them for yourself. I never like to a spoil a story for my fellow readers. 




    There were many characters that I would like to read more about I hope that we will get the chance to learn more in a future story. I would love to see what else happens between Delilah and Ryder. I'd also like to see if her cousin Dora is able to find happiness and what happens with Ryder's friend. 




    I know I certainly enjoyed Deanna Raybourn's writing and I would like to read more of her work. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 30, 2013

    Highly recommend

    This is a great story of adventure, friendship,& love set in 1920's Africa. I liken the main characters of Ryder and Delilah to Rhett Butler and Scarlet. Delilah is a often not likeable but she redeems herself with her friendship and protection of Gideon and Moses and other African natives. The descriptions of Africa and the wildlife paint vivid pictures. I look forward to more from this author and would love a sequel to this story.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 24, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    By: Deanna Raybourn Published By: Harlequin MIRA Age Recommended

    By: Deanna Raybourn
    Published By: Harlequin MIRA
    Age Recommended: Adult
    Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
    Rating: 5
    Book Blog For: GMTA
    Series: A Spear of Summer Grass #1
    Review:

    "A Spear of Summer Grass" by Deanna Raybourn was a good read of how this 'wild one' was banished to Africa by her family. Delilah Drummond was only thirty. Twice widowed and divorced once...and because of what had happened to her latest husband's death her month being so upset with her exiles her to Kenya...'until the furor dies down.' That and with Delilah possibly losing her allowance from her 'wealthy American Grandfather, off she goes to Kenya. When arriving at her stepfather's farm in Kenya the pay is in decay.. the farm doesn't even have a manager. What will happen now? This will be where I say you must pick up "A Spear of Summer Grass" as Delilah will fall in with this group of people and Ryder White. Will Delilah love this land of Africa and its people? I did enjoy this read and her descriptions of "A Spear of Summer Grace was simply amazing. You will find from the read that when a murder occurs "among the British group will Delilah be able to choose who and what is really important to her?" You will find this read a real page turner that will keep you interested until the very end. In the beginning you will find Delilah somewhat very spoiled and selfish but you will notice as you keep reading you will definitely see that her stay in Africa will 'slowly break down her barriers.' Would I recommend this read? YES!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2013

    Join faithclan a

    Tropical all results

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2013

    Move camp

    Spme cats are locked out of first three results

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2013

    Excellent

    Enjoyed learning more about Africa

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2013

    I want to join

    My name is aquafur im a blueish looking tom

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2013

    I absolutely loved this book and it was one of those books you d

    I absolutely loved this book and it was one of those books you don't want to end or hope there will be a part two.  
    The descriptions of Africa were beautiful and truly brought you there.  I loved the main character and the era. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 34 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)