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18 Different Novels Set In Africa That All Have The Same Darn Tree On The Cover

Stereotypically African orange skies and Acacia trees are hiding rich and varied stories. Don’t judge these books by their covers.

1. The Conservationist by Nadine Gordimer

Mehring is rich. He has all the privileges and possessions that South Africa has to offer, but his possessions refuse to remain objects. His wife, son, and mistress leave him…

Read more synopsis at Goodreads.

Acacia Tree cover published by Johathan Cape, (1974)

2. An Instant in the Wind by Andre Brink

The year is 1749, when the Boers ruled South Africa. And so it has come to his Baas’s final command to his Hottentot slave Adam, to flog his mother, because she refuses to prune the master’s vineyard in order to attend her own beloved mother’s funeral. And when he refuses to do so,…

Read more synopsis at Goodreads.

Acacia Tree cover published by Sourcebooks Landmark, (February 1, 2008)

3. A Far-Off Place by Laurens van der Post

The story of a long, perilous journey undertaken by four survivors of a massacre: a teenage boy of European descent, a young white girl, and two Bushmen…

Read more synopsis at Goodreads.

Acacia Tree cover published by Mariner Books, (November 8, 1978)

4. The Constant Gardener by John LeCarre

The novel opens in northern Kenya with the gruesome murder of Tessa Quayle—young, beautiful, and dearly beloved to husband Justin. When Justin sets out on a personal odyssey to uncover the mystery of her death, what he finds could make him not only a suspect among his own colleagues, but a target for Tessa’s killers as well.

Read more synopsis at Goodreads.

Acacia Tree cover published by Scribner, (January 1, 2005)

5. Cry, The Beloved Country

Nzreception / amazon.com

Cry, the Beloved Country is the deeply moving story of the Zulu pastor Stephen Kumalo and his son, Absalom, set against the background of a land and a people riven by racial injustice…

Read more synopsis at Goodreads.

Acacia Tree cover published by Vintage/Ebury, (September 1, 2004)

6. Elspeth Huxley: A Biography by C.S. Nicholls

A woman of compelling personality and exceptional energy, Elspeth Huxley was not only a celebrated writer, but also a farmer, broadcaster, journalist, conservationist, political thinker, magistrate, and government adviser. She was a vivid chronicler of colonial Kenya, and became increasingly recognized as an observer and interpreter of African affairs over a period of profound change…

Read more synopsis at Goodreads.

Acacia Tree cover published by Thomas Dunne Books, (July 28, 2003)

7. The Fever Tree by Jennifer McVeigh

Frances Irvine, left destitute in the wake of her father’s sudden death, has been forced to abandon her life of wealth and privilege in London and emigrate to the Southern Cape of Africa. 1880 South Africa is a country torn apart by greed. In this remote and inhospitable land she becomes entangled with two very different men…

Read more synopsis at Goodreads.

Acacia Tree cover published by Viking, (March 29 2012)

8. Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

In 1960s Nigeria, a country blighted by civil war, three lives intersect. Ugwu, a boy from a poor village, works as a houseboy for a university professor. Olanna, a young woman, has abandoned her life of privilege in Lagos to live with her charismatic new lover, the professor. And Richard, a shy English writer, is in thrall to Olanna’s enigmatic twin sister…

Read more synopsis at Goodreads.

Acacia Tree cover published by Anchor, September 4, 2007.

9. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

Dark allegory describes the narrator’s journey up the Congo River and his meeting with, and fascination by, Mr. Kurtz, a mysterious personage who dominates the unruly inhabitants of the region. Masterly blend of adventure, character development, psychological penetration…

Read more synopsis at Goodreads.

Acacia Tree cover published by Bedford/St. Martin’s, (December 2010)

10. I Dreamed Of Africa by Kuki Gallmann

At the age of twenty-five, Kuki Gallman, divorced and badly injured in a devastating car accident, left Italy to convalesce in Africa with the man who would become her second husband. Enchanted by the land, they established a vast ranch on the Laikipia plateau in Kenya. But Africa’s splendor came with a price…

Read more synopsis at Goodreads.

Acacia Tree cover published by Penguin UK, (Oct 30 2007)

11. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it — from garden seeds to Scripture — is calamitously transformed on African soil…

Read more synopsis at Goodreads.

Acacia Tree cover published by Harper Perennial Modern Classics, June 10, 2008

12. The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay

No stranger to the injustice of racial hatred, five-year-old Peekay learns the hard way the first secret of survival and self-preservation - the power of one. An encounter with amateur boxer Hoppie Groenewald inspires…

Read more synopsis at Goodreads.

Acacia Tree cover published by Penguin Books, Limited UK, (June 5, 2006)

13. Rage by Wilbur Smith

In the second half of the twentieth century, the future bears down on Africa—fueled by the sins of the past and the blood feuds of nations, tribes, and families. For the Courtney family, who have known this continent from the depths of its gold mines to the pinnacle of political power, a time of reckoning is at hand…

Read more synopsis at Goodreads.

Acacia Tree cover published by St. Martin’s Paperbacks, (March 6, 2007)

14. Rumours of Rain by Andre Brink

Martin Mynhardt, a wealthy Afrikaner, plans a weekend at his old family farm. But his visit coincides with a time of crisis in his personal life. In a few days, the security of a lifetime is destroyed…

Read more synopsis at Goodreads.

Acacia Tree cover published by W. H. Allen And Co Ltd,

15. The Tuner of Silences by Mia Couto

Mwanito Vitalício was eleven when he saw a woman for the first time, and the sight so surprised him he burst into tears. Mwanito’s been living in a big-game park for eight years. The only people he knows are his father, his brother, an uncle, and a servant. He’s been told that the rest of the world is dead, that all roads are sad, that they wait for an apology from God…

Read more synopsis at Goodreads.

Acacia Tree cover published by Biblioasis, (February 26, 2013)

16. You Must Set Forth at Dawn: A Memoir by Wole Soyinka

Soyinka not only recounts his exile and the terrible reign of General Sani Abacha, but shares vivid memories and playful anecdotes–including his improbable friendship with a prominent Nigerian businessman and the time he smuggled a frozen wildcat into America so that his students could experience a proper Nigerian barbecue…

Read more synopsis at Goodreads.

Acacia Tree cover published by Random House Trade Paperbacks

17. Whitethorn by Bryce Courtenay

The cover image here may actually be rather apt, as the Goodreads synopsis states: Like the Whitethorn, one of Africa’s most enduring plants, Tom learns how to survive in the harsh climate of racial hatred.

Read more synopsis at Goodreads.

Acacia Tree cover published by Penguin Group, (2005)

18. Rainbow’s End by Lauren St John

In 1978, in the final, bloodiest phase of the Rhodesian civil war, eleven-year-old Lauren St John moves with her family to Rainbow’s End, a wild, beautiful farm and game reserve set on the banks of a slowflowing river. The house has been the scene of a horrific attack by guerrillas, and when Lauren’s family settles there, a chain of events is set in motion that will change her life irrevocably…

Read more synopsis at Goodreads.

Acacia Tree cover published by Phoenix, (February 1, 2012)

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