Kate Nicholls - Under the Camelthorn Tree - Orion Publishing Group

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  • Hardback
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    • ISBN:9781474609951
    • Publication date:04 Apr 2019
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
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    • ISBN:9781474609982
    • Publication date:04 Apr 2019

Under the Camelthorn Tree

Raising a Family Among Lions

By Kate Nicholls
Read by Kate Nicholls

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A mother's gritty yet often humorous account of bringing up her five children in a lion research camp; a 21st-century My Family and Other Animals with a dark side

Kate Nicholls left England to raise her five children in Botswana: an experience that would change each of their lives. Living on a shoestring in a lion conservation camp, Kate home-schools her family while they also learn at first hand about the individual lives of wild lions. Their deep attachment to these magnificent animals is palpable.

The setting is exotic but it is also precarious. When the author is subjected to a brutal attack by three men, it threatens to destroy her and her family: post-traumatic stress turns a good mother into a woman who is fragmented and out of control.

In this powerfully written, raw and often warmly funny memoir, we witness the devastation of living with a mother whose resilience is almost broken, and how familial structures shift as the children mature and roles change. Under the CamelthornTree addresses head-on the many issues surrounding motherhood, education, independence, and the natural world; and highlights the long-lasting effect of gender violence on secondary victims. Above all, it is an inspiring account of family love, and a powerful beacon of hope for life after trauma.

Biographical Notes

Kate Nicholls was born in London in 1954. She belongs to a theatrical family, and had a successful career as an actress, appearing on the television, at the RSC and the National Theatre. Inspired by Darwin and Dawkins, she gave up acting to study biology, and moved her family to Botswana where she worked for Women Against Rape, in Maun. A year later she began researching lions in the Okavango Delta, and raised her five children in a tented research camp. She home-schooled her four youngest children and remains passionate about wildlife conservation, gender equality and educational reform. She is currently living in Rome, where she is running Brightlights Homeschool and writing her second book.

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  • ISBN: 9781474613057
  • Publication date: 02 May 2019
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: W&N

An astonishing story ... Nicholls carries us through her experiences with a searing honesty that for me was hugely educational and deeply moving.
A life lived beyond the dreams of most of us. It's a real page-turner - Jeremy Irons

Bursting with humour, intelligence and fierce humanity, Under the Camelthorn Tree takes you on a breathtaking journey: anthropological and personal. It is an unflinchingly brave, generous book filled with the wisdom of one who has seen both the beauty and the darkness the world has to give - Sophie Dahl

A wonderfully rich and honest memoir of an extraordinary life by an extraordinary person. A book that somehow manages to be both charming and challenging, a bit like Africa herself. The writing is as light as a sonnet but it is the honesty that anchors it to reality - a special book - Tim Butcher
This book deserves great success - Richard Dawkins
Under the Camelthorn Tree is remarkable, wild as a pride of lions -- heartbreaking, relentlessly truthful, funny. Kate Nicholls steps into life's beauties and hardships with a rare and extraordinary courage: you will love this book, and love Kate too - Erica Wagner, Harper's Bazaar
'Under The Camelthorn Tree is a breathtaking memoir written with an abundance of wit, honesty and love. Over the course of a page I found myself weeping, giggling, inspired, challenged, but never lectured to. Kate's humour is infectious, her honesty and vulnerability emboldening and her language precise in conjuring the sights, sounds and smells of her unique journey' - Harry Michell
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