The Clouds Beneath the Sun
By Mackenzie Ford
(Anchor, Paperback, 9780307456168, 464pp.)
Publication Date: March 6, 2012
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
Kenya, 1961. When Natalie Nelson’s plane lands at a remote airstrip in the Serengeti, she knows she’s run just about as far as she can from home. Trained as an archeologist, she accepted an invitation to join a famous excavating team in order to escape England and the painful memories of her past. But before she can get her bearings, the dig is surrounded by controversy involving the local Maasai people, and Natalie is swept up in a passionate affair that threatens to spark even more violence and turmoil.
The startling beauty of Africa, the tension of looming social upheaval, and the dizzying highs of a doomed love affair are all captured brilliantly in this extraordinary and utterly unforgettable novel.
MACKENZIE FORD, author of Gifts of War, is the nom de plume of Peter Watson, a well-known and respected historian whose books are published in seventeen languages. He was educated at the Universities of Durham, London, and Rome, and his writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and numerous publications in the United Kingdom. Since 1998 he has been a Research Associate at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research at the University of Cambridge.
- Throughout the novel, Natalie is described as being physically beautiful, and is almost universally regarded as such by the novel’s men. But Natalie herself seems somewhat conflicted about her beauty and the way it can complicate her professional advancement and life in camp. In your view, is Natalie’s beauty more of a hindrance to her or an asset?
“[A] romantic thriller. . . . Ford makes fine work of the tensions surrounding Kenya’s independence.” —The New Yorker
“Ford has a talent for storytelling…. One of [the year’s] best novels.” —San Antonio Express-News
“A fascinating, morally ambiguous novel.” —Library Journal
"Skillfully blends historical facts, mystery and romance to create a novel that is both interesting and intellectual…. Fast-paced and full of rich characters." —The Post and Courier (Charleston, SC)
“If you like your romance and intrigue with a dash of history and academia, this novel is the book for you” —Booklist
“Gorgeous. . . . A good old-fashioned love story.” —The Naples Daily News