It had been ages since I had picked up a novel, years even. I honestly don’t know why as I was always somewhat of an avid reader. I love reading. My life, however, had been changed in an instant. All of a sudden my family and I had up and left to a new country, this country and the few years that followed were a roller-coaster of emotion, fear and depression. Trying to get settled in a new country isn’t easy, without a place to stay, without a job etc etc. On top of all of that my father’s Alzheimer’s became truly apparent and he spiralled into the reaches of the disease from which there was no return. Life as I knew it, had been changed forever.
Eventually, after my unwillingness to accept this new life, I did realise that there simply was no going back. The only way was forward and I had to embrace my present in order to have any kind of future. It was during this period that I finally realised just how long it had been since I had picked up a book, and suddenly I yearned for it. The smell that greets you with every freshly turned page of a previously unopened novel, the crisp feeling of the new pages between your fingertips, the bold black lettering of it’s unread words.
I longed to be transported into the world within the pages, to experience it as described by the author. I longed to meet the characters, to relate to them, and to experience their emotions as I accompany them on their journey from the first page to the last.
The question was, which book would I read? There are so many books out there and it can be difficult to find a book that you enjoy, a book that will deliver the experience that a well written book should. It was for this reason that I decided on an author rather than a genre. I began to think about the books that I had read and which had been most captivating to me and immediately a book came to mind. Birds of Prey by Wilbur Smith. What a magnificent piece of writing. It was therefore that I decided to go in search of Wilbur Smith’s novels.
Upon finding his novels, there was one whose title, due to my nostalgic feelings for Africa, stood out to me.
When the Lion feeds
I reached out to take the new paperback from the shelf, running my fingers over the front cover as I pictured the African sunset in my mind. Turning over to the back page, I was immediately captivated by the blurb. I had to read it.
I spent the majority of the next few days in a life beside my own, travelling back and forth to the world within my book, each time more and more unwilling to return to the world outside of it’s crisp pages.
Wilbur Smith is an artist with words. So great his talent that he draws you in to the world described in his pages, to live the lives of the characters and to feel their joy, their fear, their sorrow. So incredible his writing is, that I am truly upset when I finish one of his books.
When The Lion Feeds is the book that got me reading again and Wilbur Smith set me back on the path of book reading, and I would like to thank him for every journey and adventure he has taken me on ever since.