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Rainbow's End: A Memoir of Childhood, War and an African Farm

Lauren St John

3 Reviews

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Biography: general, Memoirs, Prose: non-fiction

A captivating and haunting memoir by celebrated children's author Lauren St John about her childhood spent in rural Africa.

In 1978, in the final, bloodiest phase of Rhodesia's struggle to become Zimbabwe, eleven-year-old Lauren St John moves with her family to a wild, beautiful farm on the banks of a slow-flowing river. The house was the scene of a horrific guerrilla attack and settling there changes Lauren's life irrevocably.

RAINBOW'S END captures the overwhelming beauty and extraordinary danger of life in the African bush. Lauren's childhood reads like a girl's own adventure story as, at the height of the war, she rides through the wilderness on her horse, Morning Star, encountering lions, crocodiles, vicious ostriches and mad cows. Yet the greatest threat is the ruthless guerrillas who prowl the land, making each day more dangerous, vivid and prized than the last.

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Praise for Rainbow's End: A Memoir of Childhood, War and an African Farm

  • The starkly honest memoirs of a white Rhodesian forced to face up to the racist, violent truth of her society. St John's disarming frankness triumphs. - Financial Times

  • Highly evocative, beautifully written, a world of striking colours, a tapestry of innocence, while the brutal reality of life encroaches into the travesty which is now modern Zimbabwe. - Daily Express

  • Precise, evocative and funny. Even as the Smith regime crumbles, as Mugabe waits to exact revenge and you know disillusionment is going to follow, you are irresistibly drawn into this personal story. A fine book. - Justin Cartwright, Daily Mail

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Lauren St John

Lauren St John (Author)
Lauren St John grew up surrounded by horses, cats, dogs and a pet giraffe on a farm and game reserve in Zimbabwe, the inspiration for her bestselling White Giraffe and One Dollar Horse series, as well as her YA horse novel, The Glory. Dead Man's Cove, the first in her Laura Marlin Mystery series, won the Blue Peter Book of the Year Award. Before becoming a children's author, she worked as a journalist for The Sunday Times, writing about sports, music and spies. Along with her veterinary nursing training, it served as perfect research for her Kat Wolfe mystery series and The Snow Angel, a standalone MG novel.

A passionate conservationist, Lauren is an Ambassador for the Born Free Foundation, a patron for horse sanctuary, Mane Chance, and the founder of Authors4Oceans. When not rescuing leopards and dolphins, she is a full-time valet to her rescued, and not in the least demanding, Bengal cat, Max.

To find out more, visit her website at

David Dean (Illustrator)
David Dean studied illustration at Manchester Metropolitan University and has been working as an illustrator since 1999. He has to date created covers for nearly 40 books including Lauren St. John's THE WHITE GIRAFFE and DOLPHIN SONG (both Orion), as well as many other illustrations for books, magazines, CDs, posters and advertisements.

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