In Borrowed Light
Sister authors Barbara and Stephanie Keating, who grew up in Kenya, offer great escapism with In Borrowed Light, which transports readers into exotic 1970s and ’80s Kenya. It’s the third book in the Langani series, a sweeping family saga – or rather a sweeping friendship saga. Three friends, Camilla, Sarah, and Hannah, do right and wrong by their husbands, lovers, and children as they choose life in a country that is shifting around them. The series’ first book, Blood Sisters, begins with the girls during the 1950s Mau Mau Rebellion and follows them into the 1960s as they leave the Kenya Highlands for marriage or careers. In A Durable Fire they return, loyal to their country despite the violence that leaves Sarah’s fiancé (Hannah’s brother) brutally murdered on their family farm, Langani.
That’s back story for this book, which I enjoyed so much that I’ve bought the first two – despite a patch of clunky dialog that made me wary as I read In Borrowed Light’s first pages. As one catastrophe after another befell the characters, though, the writing became transparent to the story. I felt like I know these women. They’re both good and flawed; their mistakes always recognizable and believably right or wrongheaded. At some point, I realized that a male character might well be a villain if he behaved in the high-handed way that these women sometimes do. I was on their side all the way; sometimes wishing I could give them a good talking to. Recommended.