The Clouds Beneath the Sun Summary and Reviews

The Clouds Beneath the Sun

by Mackenzie Ford

The Clouds Beneath the Sun
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  • Published in USA  Jul 2010
    464 pages
    Genre: Novels

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About this book

Book Summary

Mackenzie Ford (a nom de plume) was introduced to readers in 2009 with the publication of Gifts of War, which was praised in USA Today as "an absorbing, morally complex read." In a starred review, Library Journal said, "Ford keeps the reader on a knife’s edge as the lies build and the truth is only a word or misstep away. Highly recommended."

Now Ford takes us to Kenya in 1961. As a small plane carrying Natalie Nelson lands at a remote airstrip in the Serengeti, Natalie knows she’s run just about as far as she can from home. Trained as an archeologist, she accepted an invitation to be included in a famous excavating team, her first opportunity 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 Masai people—and murder. Compounding the tension, Eleanor Deacon, friend of the Masai, who is leading the excavating mission, watches a rift grow between her two handsome sons. Natalie’s growing attraction to Jack Deacon soon becomes a passionate affair that turns dangerous when she must give evidence in a trial that could spark even more violence and turmoil.

The startling beauty of the Kenyan setting, the tension of loom­ing social upheaval, and the dizzying highs and crushing lows of a doomed love affair are all captured brilliantly on every page of this extraordinary and utterly unforgettable novel.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Complicated parent-child relationships and sibling rivalries add to the complexity of this story, making it ripe for sophisticated book groups. Highly recommended." - Library Journal

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Reader Reviews

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Barbara S. (Brick, NJ)

Tell Me More
This is my first book trip to Kenya and it leaves me with a longing for more tales of the Maasai and their culture. Ordinarily I would not search for a book about archaeology but found this book utterly fascinating. The author transports you to the dig location, Kihara gorge, and paints a perfect picture even though I have never seen one. The story tied in beautifully with the setting. If you have a "passion" in life, this book is for you. I am adding this to my Book Club selections for 2011.

Shirley D. (Amherst, MA)

The Clouds Beneath The Sun
A good read! The writing is excellent. The characters were of immediate interest and the setting so skillfully done, I wasn’t aware how much I was learning about Kenya. As for the plot, I found it a “page turner.” I felt it a privilege to read and review this novel.

Susan B. (Coventry, RI)

The Clouds Beneath the Sun
I began reading this book while I was in the middle of another novel that I was enjoying; I thought I would read them concurrently. Surprise! Once I began "The Clouds Beneath the Sun" I couldn't put it down! The setting of an archeological dig in East Africa was unfamiliar to me but it was well-described. While controversy about the dig is getting more involved, the book begins to deal with the lives of the main characters and it becomes a love story. This is definitely a book you won't be able to put down!

Sandra G. (Middleton, WI)

Hard to put down!
The back cover says this is "an irresistible page-turner of forbidden love on the wild plains of East Africa." This novel is FAR more than a love story! (The love story doesn't begin until page 330!) I was drawn in after reading three pages. The descriptions of the Maasai, the wildlife, and the Kihara Gorge area all contributed to a strong sense of place. The multi-layered plot kept my interest throughout. I agree that is is "an irresistible page turner."

Anna R. (Oak Ridge, TN)

Amazing Story
This book has it all; mystery, history, jealously,murder and a love story. I learned about Kenya working toward independence and about archaeology. The character development is fantastic and the story grabs you from page one.
The ending isn't what I expected. Wow. This is a great read!

Sue J. (Wauwatosa, WI)

An absorbing read.
I enjoyed this book immensely. Ford is a creative writer who has a talent for drawing good characters and giving a sense of what a dig in Kenya would really be like. This book was a page-turner for me and I had to hold myself back from peaking ahead to find out how everything comes out. Highly recommended!

...20 more reader reviews

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More Information

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.

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