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Through the Leopard's Gaze

Jacaranda Twenty in 2020
Narrated by: Njambi McGrath
Length: 9 hrs and 13 mins
4.1 out of 5 stars (33 ratings)

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Summary

Through the Leopard's Gaze is an amazing memoir chronicling the award winning comedian's difficult but inspiring life growing up in Kenya. Her book illuminates family abuse, racism identity and emotional triumph through the lenses of the author's personal history and the history of Kenya.

In her captivating memoir Through the Leopard's Gaze, Njambi McGrath details the harrowing circumstances of her life as a young girl in Kenya, who one fateful night was beaten to a pulp and left for dead. Thirteen-year-old Njambi, fearing her assailant would return to finish her, courageously escaped, walking through the night in the Kenyan countryside, risking wild animals, robbers and murderers, before being picked up by two shabbily dressed but safe men. 

She buries the memories of that fateful day and night, and years later ends up in London with a British husband and children. Then one day a simple unassuming wedding invitation arrives in her mailbox causing her to have to confront the remnants of a past she had thought was behind her. This is a book about survival, and courage when all else fails. It’s a searingly honest examination of human cruelty and strength in equal measure. 

©2020 Njambi McGrath (P)2020 Audible, Ltd

Critic reviews

"Trail blazing." (The Guardian)

"Important Voice" (The Times)

"Deliciously tart lines." (Evening Standard)

What listeners say about Through the Leopard's Gaze

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I thought this book was absolutely brilliant

I thought this book was absolutely brilliant. The style of the writing, the honesty, the thoroughness and how the writer manages to tell so many emotional stories so concisely is just perfect. I was captivated. I had to listen to it in one day! So glad the writer was chosen to do the audible reading as her accent andً tone of voice made me imagine the scenes and feel the emotions.

7 people found this helpful

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Not worthy of publishing

This must rate as one of the worst books I have ever had the misfortune to read. It was suggested that I read it due to a previous Kenya connection. It turns out to be a narrative of a family that was constantly abused by a violent father. The mother and two children suffering hideously at his beatings in the name of discipline. The man turns out to be a drunkard, a womaniser and wholly self-centred. Whilst his 'sweet shop' business mentality provides for his family, the coffee farm he inherited at independence fails miserably as a result of his failure to tend and nurture the crop. This is not a book that was even worthy of a publisher, and probably only published by Jacaranda to make up the numbers - AVOID

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A really touching story

The book was really fantastic. It is so interesting and also heartbreaking to hear a story of how colonialism affected a family in specific and to see it's effect through generations. It really gives a deeper understanding of how the impacts were felt on a personal level. Thank you for the book Njambi McGrath

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Beautiful, heartbreaking story

I loved the way it ends with a reflection of her parents' background. How no matter what happened, the bottom line is they were also a product of their experiences and in the end it kind of makes sense why everything happened the way it did.

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An honest but painful story

I couldn’t stop listening to this! Written so beautifully, Njambi tells the story of her life with unexpected twists and turns - had to re-listen to parts to comprehend them. Such shocking reading in places too. It’s the first book I’ve read that gives the perspective of colonialism from the African side but it’s beautifully mingled with the innocence of a little girl growing up in Kenya. Very highly recommended.

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  • 03-03-20

Great book

Very well written, it draws you in from the first page. It’s emotional and educational. Highly recommend!

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very inciteful

heart opening story of a woman making peace with generations of pain from British rule in Kenya.