A Spear of Summer Grass: A Story of Love and Friendship on the African Savannah

A Spear of Summer Grass: A Story of Love and Friendship on the African Savannah

by Deanna Raybourn
4.6 34

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A Spear of Summer Grass 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
MTurner More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Lady Julia novels are great. This book is super great! I felt I was there in AFRICA with Delilah. WOW,WOW ,WOW!
Jesica More than 1 year ago
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.
simplyblake More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
DRichard001 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
cjdlibrarian More than 1 year ago
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.
JKW24 More than 1 year ago
This story, these characters and those places, take me completely into a new adventure I could never have imagined. A few of the characters do not sit in judgment of the ‘old timers’ when their discrimination rears its ugly side. There is an understanding and acceptance of native people and their ways of living from these newcomers. It is a refreshing read with many different dilemmas and issues that will put one on the edge and keeps the pages turning. The Natives believe the Darwin Philosophy, “Adapt or Die. It is the way of nature.” What happens in the wilds of Africa in the 1920s is haunting and beautiful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed this story with its original plot and intriguing main character.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
mayrrz More than 1 year ago
This book had me right away. I like the time period and setting of the story. I enjoyed it very much.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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+++++++
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
CrystalCB More than 1 year ago
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. 
SUKIELJ More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
arlenadean More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed learning more about Africa
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was an entertaining bit of fluff. It wasn't great, but it certainly wasn't horrible. The hero and heroine were fun enough as characters, but they were given almost no time in which to interact. In fact, I would go so far as to say that Delilah fell in love with Ryder based entirely on second hand stories told by secondary characters and he fell in love with her... because the plot called for it. The love affair is painfully flat but the action and mystery are entertaining enough. This is not a great novel that will stick with you, but for quick bit of light entertainment , it works well enough.
ac123 More than 1 year ago
1st of all, let me say how much I like this author. But a big part of liking a novel is for me liking the main characters. I find the main (female) person in this book mean, selfish, and immoral. Haven't finished the book. Don't know if I will.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago