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Monday, January 21, 2013

My Road to Kenya: A Story of Faith, Hope and Democracy in Action by Jack W. O'Leary, Mary Clare Lyons


My Road to Kenya: A Story of Faith, Hope and Democracy in Action
 
Summary:
 
Over a period of 17 years, Jack refurbished and built hospitals, clinics and orphanages, and undertook other humanitarian projects in Kenya. An archbishop, an environmentalist and an AIDS activist are only a few of the heroes, who stood up against a ruthless dictator and corrupt government, in Jack O'Leary's “My Road to Kenya”. The archbishop spent 40 years fighting for democracy, and in 2011 his efforts were rewarded when the new government ratified a new constitution.

The book mostly consists of happy memories of fascinating people overcoming obstacles. In one town a hospital was built that resulted in an 80% decrease in the infant mortality. On safari, a game warden warned Jack if he got out of his vehicle one more time he would shoot him. His stories of adventures with his friend Stephen are both humorous and uplifting.
Summary & Cover taken from Goodreads.com
Length: 148 pages (E-book)
Source: NetGalley ARC
Publication Date: September 2012 by WestBow Press
 
This is the personal accounts of both Jack O'Leary and Mary Lyons and their contribution to the people of Kenya. As many of you have probably seen I'm trying to read more non-fiction in 2013 so when I came across this one on NetGalley I had to give it a shot.
 
I'm not too sure what I expected to get out of my reading from the book other than that I would learn a bit about two people who work very hard to give to the people of Kenya. While I did learn about the efforts of both Jack O'Leary and Mary Lyons I felt that the book lacked a bit more of a personal touch.
 
For me, when I read a memoir like this I want to not only learn about their contributions to society but about them as individuals. In this memoir I felt that My Road to Kenya lacked a lot of the human aspect from the authors. While I really enjoyed their various stories about their time in Kenya and the good deeds they've done I know very little about Jack and Mary outside of their charitable contributions and that really bothered me.
 
I completely understand that the author probably wanted the focus to be more on sharing their experiences but I felt that learning who Jack and Mary are would have gone a long way to understanding how and why the road they were on led them to become so involved with the people of Kenya.
 
Despite this fact though, I thought that the book was well written and I enjoyed the fact that there was a certain lightness to it. It was not bogged down by dry writing but was written in a very easy to read manner. What I appreciated most was the humour with which both Jack and Mary told their numerous stories about their interactions with friends, family and strangers as well as how much passion they both have for what they do it is nothing short of inspirational.
 
Overall, this was a good little memoir based on two peoples experiences in terms of their charitable contributions that are being used to better the lives of the people in Kenya. I would recommend this to everyone especially those readers who want to read a memoir but don't want one that is too long and too time consuming to read.
 
* I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my free and honest review. I was not compensated in anyway to give a positive review and all thoughts and opinions herein are my own.
 
I read this book for the following challenges:
 
2013 Around the World Reading Callenge

2013 150+ Books Reading Challenge
 
Liked It!
★ ★ ★ 1/2
 
To visit the My Road to Kenya Website CLICK HERE

To purchase the book via Chapters Indigo CLICK HERE
To purchase the book via Kobo CLICK HERE
To purchase the book via Amazon CLICK HERE
To purchase the book via The Book Depository CLICK HERE
To purchase the book via Barnes & Noble CLICK HERE
To purchase the book via Indie Bound CLICK HERE
 



1 comment:

  1. I do not read a lot of memoirs, I actual enjoy watching them though on the history channel or discover channel. This sounds interesting despite not learning a lot about Jack and Mary.

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