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Brigid Keenan's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Brigid Keenan recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Brigid Keenan's favorite book recommendations of all time.


The Jewel in the Crown

No set of novels so richly recreates the last days of India under British rule--"two nations locked in an imperial embrace"--as Paul Scott's historical tour de force, " The Raj Quartet." "The Jewel in the Crown" opens in 1942 as the British fear both Japanese invasion and Indian demands for independence. less
Recommended by Brigid Keenan, and 1 others.

Brigid KeenanIt’s a story about a British family in India in the last days of the British Raj (it all takes place in the early 1940s before the British left). That was the time when I was in India as a child, but I was 20 years younger than the heroine of the book, Daphne Manners. The basic plot is that Daphne falls in love with a young Indian journalist who has been educated in England. He’s quite posh, and... (Source)

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This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world), and other notations in the work.

This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely...
Recommended by Brigid Keenan, and 1 others.

Brigid KeenanThe book is written by the wife of the famous adventurer/traveller Richard Burton. I identified with her because she was a Catholic like me, and she loved her posting to Syria with her husband just as much as I did. She was interested in the same things that fascinated me – the old houses in Damascus are just one example (I actually wrote a book about houses in Damascus). When she was there in... (Source)

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An English Lady In Chinese Turkestan

In 1898 Cather Borland married George Macartney and, as a bride of 21, journeyed with him to one of the least accessible places on earth - Kashgar in Turkestan, on the remote borders of India, Russia and China. George Macartney represented Britain at Kashgar from 1890 to 1918. Officially he was responsible for looking after the interests of the small British Indian community there, but unofficially he kept a watch on the activities of the Russians. For at that time Kashgar was Britain's most advanced position in the Great Game, the long and shadowy struggle with the Tsarist Russia for... more
Recommended by Brigid Keenan, and 1 others.

Brigid KeenanI don’t know how I came across this book but I read it when my husband was posted to Kazakhstan, which, initially, I absolutely hated. In her book Lady Macartney describes going through Russian-controlled territory on her way to China, accompanying her husband. She describes her loneliness on finding that no one speaks English and then the shock of finding that all the street signs and road signs... (Source)

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The Poisonwood Bible

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. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family's tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa. less
Recommended by Brigid Keenan, Michelle Jana Chan, and 2 others.

Brigid KeenanThis is about everything that can go wrong when you are in another country and faced with another culture. It’s about a family – primarily it centres on a father and his four daughters – who move to the Congo from America as missionaries. The book is tragic because the father has the best intentions of making a good life for his family, but he’s too closed-minded and set in his American ways. I... (Source)

Michelle Jana ChanIt’s quite an old-fashioned story of sin and redemption, yet a hugely ambitious tale for Kingsolver to take on. It’s about filial responsibility as a wife and as daughters and sisters; it’s about guilt, bitterness and revenge. (Source)

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Out of Africa

Out of Africa is Isak Dinesen's memoir of her years in Africa, from 1914 to 1931, on a four-thousand-acre coffee plantation in the hills near Nairobi. She had come to Kenya from Denmark with her husband, and when they separated she stayed on to manage the farm by herself, visited frequently by her lover, the big-game hunter Denys Finch-Hatton, for whom she would make up stories "like Scheherazade." In Africa, "I learned how to tell tales," she recalled many years later. "The natives have an ear still. I told stories constantly to them, all kinds." Her account of her African adventures,... more
Recommended by Brigid Keenan, Helena Frith Powell, and 2 others.

Brigid KeenanAn incredible introduction to Africa, and I read the book when I needed it most. (Source)

Helena Frith PowellI found the book itself inspirational, and I found the fact that a woman had written it doubly inspirational. (Source)

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