Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Reviews are In!

Safari Jema, A Journey of Love and Adventure From Casablanca to Cape Town

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Here's what readers are saying...

Armchair Travel at its Best, May 2, 2012
By Gail -
This review is from: Safari Jema: A Journey of Love and Adventure from Casablanca to Cape Town (Paperback)
O'Kane paints a truly fascinating picture of Africa's landscape and people, while adding color about her upbringing, and the cast of characters she meets along her journey. This is a great book for those who want to experience Africa through the eyes of a brave, smart, funny, and sensitive adventurer. By the end of the book, you'll have a greater sense of the beauty of Africa in its many forms, and also gain an understanding of the daily struggles many Africans endure. The author and her husband traverse Africa in many different ways, from an overland truck, to bush taxis, ferries, buses, planes, and automobiles. From each experience a fascinating story ensues, and you find yourself wishing you were there, and not there, all at the same time. Since I am an armchair traveler, I look forward to taking another amazing journey with the author someday, from the comfort of my living room.

Safari Jema is a Gem, March 24, 2012
This review is from: Safari Jema: A Journey of Love and Adventure from Casablanca to Cape Town (Paperback)

Move over Peter Mayle and make room for Africa's version of A Year In Provence. Covering a year of travel in Africa with her husband Scott, Teresa O’Kane is blessed with the rare gift of observation that entrenches you in the moment, as she delights her readers with the lore of cultural contrast as told through her well adjusted parochial school eyes and wit.
For those just interested in the pros and cons of visiting the exotic places chronicled, you won't be disappointed. But what makes Safari Jema special is O’Kane's brutal honesty in recounting her hilarious reactions to events that would jar even the most seasoned traveler. This is what comes when fear, and an unquenchable desire for adventure, collides in the personage of a natural born raconteur, who also happens to be the proverbial catholic girl next door.
Where else can you find tales of a girl’s shoes not polished enough to be "almond worthy" and learn about the Ethiopian Ark of The Covenant, in the same paragraph! Who else is rating countries on a Donkey scale, to assess the treatment of their beasts of burden? And if that's too boring, O’Kane can also recount the sexual habits of her overland truck mates, as well as wild African life in equal detail. Such is the power of her unique curiosity, always retold with a genuine dose of humanity.
You surely will not fall in love with some of O’Kane's African journey, but you can't help but fall in love with the diarist and this story.
Africa the way few people get to experience it, March 22, 2012
This review is from: Safari Jema: A Journey of Love and Adventure from Casablanca to Cape Town (Paperback)
This is the ultimate in armchair travel. I don't think I'd have the courage or fortitude to travel through Africa the way the author and her husband did, so it's a real treat to get to read about their journey without running the personal risk of being eaten by an irritated hippo. Almost as much as the wonderfully up-close-and-personal experiences, I really admire the author's sense of adventure and fun, her desire to get to know the people she meets on her travels, her respect for her surroundings, and her "take things as they come" flexibility. I'll be on the lookout for future adventures!

Wonderful book, amazing stories, March 11, 2012
This review is from: Safari Jema: A Journey of Love and Adventure from Casablanca to Cape Town (Paperback)
Safari Jema is a wonderful book, not only for those who love Africa and/or hope to travel there, but for anyone who loves a good book. Through Teresa's stories of her travels we learn about her and she is charming. She is a wonderful storyteller and her stories are inspiring, heartbreaking, hilarious and compelling. I love this book and will continue to follow Teresa's adventures on her blog.

Safari Jema: A journey of Love and Adventure from Casablanca to Capetown, March 9, 2012
This review is from: Safari Jema: A Journey of Love and Adventure from Casablanca to Cape Town (Paperback)
I am definitely not into travelogues but Safari Jema has been a charming and delightful exception. The author's tale of she and her husband's experiences in Africa are warm, vibrant and so wonderfully descriptive I felt the heat, the rain, the smells, the frustrations, and delights Ms O’Kane relates. Like E. G. Burroughs' Tarzan adventures, when it rains in her story, I feet wet! Her prose is absolutely riveting, and as no amateur traveler myself, so very detailed I felt as though I were sitting in the truck, right next to Tris and Scott, as they experienced the trek of a lifetime. Absolutely required reading for anyone contemplating a similar experience, it will delight and astound the armchair adventurer as well. I found myself sneaking a read when I was supposed to be doing something else! I highly recommend this warm and at times heartbreaking story to readers of all ages and gender!

Africa.........the hard way, March 3, 2012
By Ross
This review is from: Safari Jema: A Journey of Love and Adventure from Casablanca to Cape Town (Paperback)
Teresa O'Kane has a great story to tell about the journey she and her husband took from one end of Africa to the other. It is an adventure story that she tells superbly. Teresa and Scott eschewed the up-scale luxury safari system and chose trucks and buses and bush taxis; in doing so they experienced a fascinating connection with the people and the land. She uses words wonderfully. More than once I came across a sentence or a paragraph that did its job so perfectly that I had to stop to reread and savor the image conjured. Read the book and you will find yourself admiring the courage and spirit of adventure of these two travelers.

Love love love this book!, February 16, 2012
By R. Amooi 
This review is from: Safari Jema: A Journey of Love and Adventure from Casablanca to Cape Town (Paperback)
Africa is very high on my list of places that I want to travel with my wife. I love to hear stories from others to learn more about the culture and the country. This is such a great book in so many ways. Teresa O'Kane is a great storyteller but what makes it even better is that she and her husband took the less-touristy route to see THE REAL Africa. Her stories are amazing and some SO funny. It's the perfect blend of adventure and humor. Of course, there are some sad things I read and some things that just blew my mind. But we all know that the country has many problems. I especially like how she gives the reader tips on how to do the same trip or a trip that's more scaled down, if you don't have 10 months to travel. A pure joy to read. Form what I can tell, she hasn't written anything else but I hope she does. I would love to read about another wild adventure like that.

The Broad Canvas of Africa, February 7, 2012
This review is from: Safari Jema: A Journey of Love and Adventure from Casablanca to Cape Town (Paperback)
Books about Africa are legion. Good books about Africa are much rarer. Many writers lose themselves on this broad canvas. Teresa O'Kane succeeds in blending the personal, physical and spiritual journey she and her husband Scott underwent on an extraordinary expedition from Casablanca to Cape Town. It is a highly personal and impressionistic account, but Ms. O'Kane never loses either her objectivity nor her openness. Her descriptions are vivid and the characters memorable, from "the Mechanic" a crazed Aussie, with whom they start their overland journey in Morocco, to John, their instructor at Game Ranger school in South Africa.

Her central character, however, is always Africa; Africa in all her multifaceted, contradictory splendor; Africa with her complex tapestry of peoples and cultures; the daily struggle for survival and sheer exuberant joy living. Ms. O'Kane brings to life moments of wonder, adventure, hope and tragedy, while avoiding the pitfalls of colonial condescension, blithe optimism or hopeless hand wringing.

There are travel tips to be gleaned from her account, but what Ms. O'Kane succeeds most of all in doing is writing a book that describes not what to see in Africa, but how to immerse yourself in Africa, if as she says, you have to will to do it.

Excellent, fun read, January 21, 2012
By Judy
This review is from: Safari Jema: A Journey of Love and Adventure from Casablanca to Cape Town (Paperback)
If you like personal stories about adventure travel in Africa, if you like the sense of getting to know the author, if you enjoy a good laugh, I recommend Safari Jema. Teresa O'Kane is a wonderful raconteur (raconteuse?) who includes interesting details without tiring the reader, and who presents the land and people of Africa in a positive yet realistic manner. A lot of good tips are woven in, but even if you are not planning a trip to Africa, this book is very entertaining.