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Under the Camelthorn Tree

Raising a Family Among Lions
Narrated by: Kate Nicholls
Length: 10 hrs and 8 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

Regular price: £19.99

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Summary

Kate Nicholls left England to raise her five children in Botswana: an experience that would change each of their lives. Living on a shoestring in a lion conservation camp, Kate home-schools her family while they also learn at firsthand about the individual lives of wild lions. Their deep attachment to these magnificent animals is palpable.

The setting is exotic, but it is also precarious. When the author is subjected to a brutal attack by three men, it threatens to destroy her and her family: post-traumatic stress turns a good mother into a woman who is fragmented and out of control.  

In this powerfully written, raw and often warmly funny memoir, we witness the devastation of living with a mother whose resilience is almost broken and how familial structures shift as the children mature and roles change. Under the Camelthorn Tree addresses head-on the many issues surrounding motherhood, education, independence and the natural world and highlights the long-lasting effect of gender violence on secondary victims. Above all, it is an inspiring account of family love and a powerful beacon of hope for life after trauma.

©2019 Kate Nicholls (P)2019 Orion Publishing Group

Critic reviews

"A wonderfully rich and honest memoir of an extraordinary life by an extraordinary person. A book that somehow manages to be both charming and challenging, a bit like Africa herself. The writing is as light as a sonnet but it is the honesty that anchors it to reality - a special book." (Tim Butcher)

"Under the Camelthorn Tree is remarkable, wild as a pride of lions - heartbreaking, relentlessly truthful, funny. Kate Nicholls steps into life's beauties and hardships with a rare and extraordinary courage: you will love this book, and love Kate too." (Erica Wagner, Harper's Bazaar)

"This book deserves great success." (Richard Dawkins)

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Fascinating. A total home schooling & independent thinking African family adventure advert.

This is a compelling listen. There’s difficult bits made more difficult by the unflinching honesty of the author/narrator. WHAT a woman though, WHAT a mother, a teacher, an enthusiast, a free thinker. So much character she intimidates us all, I fear.

The story of her adored kids is one thread, a few generations of lions is another, her careers as NGO counsellor/activist volunteer, home teacher, biologist, mother and lover, are all richly drawn.

I heard her interviewed and worried I wouldn’t warm to her and her projects, but I did. And with robust support for her integrity, honesty, fallability and courage.

Kate you are a leg end - I’ve LOVED the journey you’ve taken me on and you’ve enthused me with all you enthusiasms!