The Lioness (book review)

I have been waiting (and waiting and waiting) for this book to become available at my library. It finally did…and I read it…and I loved it!

Before I talk about The Lioness I have to mention that I love this author. I read The Flight Attendant and The Hour of the Witch and while I enjoyed them, I found myself frequently talking to the main characters (which is not something I make a habit of) and exclaiming things like, “GIRL, WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?!” Or “OMG, YOU IDIOT!” And so forth and so on.

The Lioness is Chris Bohjalian’s latest book, which he apparently wrote in 2020 during quarantine…or as he so aptly put it, during the year that Satan spawned. I think it must have made a difference because this is my favorite of his books (at least the ones I’ve read.) I was captivated immediately and just devoured the book (no pun intended, ha!)

I’m hesitant to describe the book in much detail because I don’t want to give anything away. It’s set in the 1960’s when a Hollywood movie star and her entourage go on an African safari. They anticipated seeing giraffes munching on leaves or seeing elephants or wildebeest…and things didn’t exactly go as planned.

The book is written from several character’s viewpoints, which typically annoys me. It didn’t in The lioness. Each chapter is labeled with the character speaking, so it’s very easy to follow and doesn’t feel strange. And it makes sense. (But if this usually isn’t a format you care for, you might not like it.)

Chris Bohjalian is a lovely writer. His characters are all well rounded and intriguing and he describes Africa and the animals and challenges so well that it’s easy to imagine being there.

Excellent book, highly recommend! Five stars.