By Marissa Wells
“Harry Harambee’s Kenyan Sundowner,” by Gerald Everett Jones, tells the story of Harry Gardner, a lonely widower from Los Angeles who purchases a tour package to East Africa on the promise of hookups and parties.
Instead, he finds new reasons to live. Harry doesn’t find the excitement with the local ladies but in the supermarket, he meets Esther Mwemba, a widow who works as a bookkeeper and a mutual and strong attraction grows between the two.
The book was inspired by the author’s own experiences in Kenya, where he lived for two years to support his wife’s work in wildlife conservation and child welfare.
“The events I describe either happened to me directly — or they were related to me by Kenyans,” Jones said. “You quickly learn that you don’t get the whole story in the newspapers or on TV.”
Inside the book, the main character must come to terms with questions regarding the prevalence of corruption in life and whether or not love is transactional.
“My main character in this book is Harry Gardner, a lonely, middle-aged widower from Los Angeles,” Jones said. “So, I’m a middle-aged white guy writing from the viewpoint of a middle-aged white guy.”
“Harry Harambee’s Kenyan Sundowner” may be enjoyed by readers of all backgrounds, especially those who enjoy literary fiction.
“It’s an emotional story of expat intrigue in Africa, reminiscent of ‘The Heart of the Matter’ by Graham Greene and ‘The Constant Gardener’ by John Le Carré,” Jones said. “So, I want to engage fans of those books and of [other] literary fiction.”
It’s the author’s hope that his readers appreciate a Kenyan outlook and that they do not realize the ending of the book until the final page.
“I let my subconscious and the characters’ own urges drive the plot,” Jones said. “So, if I’m surprised and delighted with the plot twists, I expect the readers might be as well.”
Jones is a full-time author and has received several awards for his books. For more information about the author and his work, visit geraldeverettjones.com. He is based in Santa Monica.
“Harry Harambee’s Kenyan Sundowner” is available for $18.99 (paperback) and $6.99 (e-book) via geraldeverettjones.com, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Google Play, and many other online booksellers.