I finished another book last night- this one about the life of Joan Root, a famous conservationist/animal lover/filmmaker. Mark Seal, the author of Wildflower, first wrote an article for Vanity Fair about Root after her murder in early 2006. Root was in her home in Kenya where she was murdered. While no one has stood trial for her murder, it is believed that poachers were to blame because of Root's work in trying to save the lake she lived near.
Root is an interesting woman. Having grown up in Africa, she was surrounded by the beauty of nature her entire life, and fell in love with the animals of Africa. She married Alan Root and together the two made documentary films of their work with animals. While Alan got the glory for his work, Joan, his helper was often in the background. Stories in this book include a visitor thinking there was a bed in the corner of Joan's living room, only to be amazed when the "bed" or hippo got up and walked out of the room. Joan spent time with many fearsome animals and befriended them all. She also had a pet caracal she kept in the house; while friendly most of the time, the caracal could decide to bite at any given moment.
Even though I knew nothing of Joan Root prior to reading this book, I did enjoy this book a lot. I liked learning more about Africa, Kenya in particular. I enjoyed the focus on Joan as a person, not simply listing off accomplishments, but about her personal life and marriage. Her murder is a sad final chapter to a remarkable life.