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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.

9 people found this helpful

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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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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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  • 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.

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very poignant

True story told in the authors own words revealing the real impact of colonialism and genocide in Africa. This was heartbreaking but also brought history to life for me. Excellent read.

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The personal is political

This book is a must read for every beneficiary of colonialism, for every woman, for every man. Accepting the painful truth of it.

This extraordinary book must have been so very painful to write. It is a deeply introspective and raw reflection on a personal history of trauma and forgiveness. It is also a rewriting of history, setting the record straight and holding to account the British for the invasion of Kenya and the human rights violations that followed.

I cannot imagine having the courage, compassion or tenacity to write a book like this.

Njambi has given literature and history a very important contribution. A book worthy of inclusion on the curriculum for either discipline.