Approach to Freetown is the first volume of the completed tetralogy LION MOUNTAIN. It started out as a short story about an American woman who revamps her life in Africa and prepares to have a family without a husband. The protagonist Elizabeth Modra is an American artist from Lansing Michigan, who finishes her B. A. in Art in Boston and then goes to London with her boyfriend. There, he becomes very jealous of her success and becomes violent with her. At her first showing, she meets Peter Safford, a journalist, who becomes very fond of her and asks her to move in with him, which she does. Then when he takes her to cover a story in Sierra Leone, she refuses to leave. The land and people have gotten into her blood so that she wants to make this new country her home. She is determined to find out why these people are so happy and content and good to one another, even after the horrors which had befallen them during the recent Civil war.
In this first of a complete tetralogy, and coming in at only 126 pages in length, explains the reason for my four thumbs rating; it just wasn’t long enough, this Author opens a whole new world to the reader in ways they could not possibly imagine
The main protagonist, a female, is written in all her vulnerable and confused glory; so much so that any reader would be hard pressed not to want to reach out a helping hand to her, or just give her a cuddle to make her feel better. As the reader travels with her through her trials and tribulations, the Author is able to make them experience keenly the pain and total destruction of self that this woman feels at times. This is a character that the reader wants to be about to address and come to terms with her past, and will want to be there every step of the way to support her. Other characters encountered are equally well written, and will produce a feeling of either like or indifference in the reader or, as in one particular character I just wanted to reach into the pages and slap them.
The locations of this enjoyable read are also beautifully written; the heat virtually rises off the pages in some areas and the inhabitants are written in such a way that they too make an impression on the reader. It is very plain to anyone who reads this that the Author did careful research into the area she sets her work in and this adds to the authenticity of the storyline and helps carry it along in a very believable manner.
If this series of books is ever published together as a complete novel, I will definitely buy the print copy for my book shelves, and I would highly recommend this first instalment to all readers. This is going to be a series that doesn’t deserve to be just read, it requires the time taken to savour and enjoy it as one would a fine wine or gourmet meal.