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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 was born in Gatooma, Rhodesia, now Kadoma, Zimbabwe. At 11, she and her family moved to Rainbow's End farm and game reserve, the subject of her acclaimed memoir, and she grew up surrounded by animals, including eight horses, two warthogs and a pet giraffe. After nearly a decade as golf correspondent to The Sunday Times, followed by a sojourn in the US, riding the tour buses of alt. country stars like Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle and the Dixie Chicks, she wrote the bestselling 'White Giraffe' series. 'Dead Man's Cove', the first in her new mystery series about 11-year-old detective, Laura Marlin, won the 2011 Blue Peter Favourite Story and Book of the Year Awards.

Lauren's website is and you can follow her on Twitter @laurenstjohn

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