Wildflower

Wildflower

An Extraordinary Life and Untimely Death in Africa

Book - 2009
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Random House, Inc.
Wildflower is a compelling work of narrative nonfiction in which the shocking death of a dedicated environmentalist becomes a broader story of a beautiful, breathtaking country in peril.

In January 2006, Joan Root, a sixty-nine-year-old naturalist, Oscar-nominated wildlife filmmaker, and staunch conservationist, was murdered by two masked men armed with an AK-47 shortly after midnight in her bedroom on the shore of Kenya’s beautiful Lake Naivasha. Was it a random robbery gone bad, as the local police seemed to think, or was it a cold-blooded contract killing carried out at the behest of enemies Root had made in her efforts to protect Kenya’s wildlife? Veteran journalist Mark Seal set out to investigate this gripping real-life murder mystery–and instead found an unforgettable story not only of a tragic death but of the remarkable life that preceded it.

With compassion and an unswerving regard for the truth, Seal lays bare the deeply moving, inspirational history of Joan Root, covering her early days in Kenya as a shy young woman with an almost uncanny ability to connect to animals; her whirlwind courtship with the dashing Alan Root, their marriage, and the twenty years of nonstop adventure, passionate romance, and groundbreaking wildlife filmmaking that followed, both in Africa and around the world; the shattering disintegration of the marriage and partnership; and Joan’s triumphant struggle to reinvent herself as the protector of her lakeshore community’s fragile ecosystem–a struggle that would lead to her death.

Wildflower
is also the story of Kenya itself. A country blessed with unmatched beauty that is one of the last repositories of rare wildlife on the African continent, Kenya has also been scarred by decades of colonization and a culture of corruption fueled by the frequently competing agendas of conservationists and business interests. Joan Root dreamed of a bright future for Kenya and spent her life fighting with quiet heroism and courage to make that dream a reality. Her life ended too soon, but her legacy lives on.


Baker & Taylor
Follows the life of the conservationist and filmaker who was killed in her Kenyan home in 2006.

Blackwell North Amer
January 2006, Joan Root, a sixty-nine-year-old naturalist, Oscar-nominated wildlife filmmaker, and staunch conservationist, was murdered by two masked men armed with an AK-47 shortly after midnight in her bedroom on the shore of Kenya's beautiful Lake Naivasha. Was it a random robbery gone bad, as the local police seemed to think, or was it a cold-blooded contract killing carried out at the behest of enemies Root had made in her efforts to protect Kenya's wildlife? Veteran journalist Mark Seal set out to investigate this gripping real-life murder mysteryand instead found an unforgettable story not only of a tragic death but of the remarkable life that preceded it.
With compassion and an unswerving regard for the truth, Seal lays bare the deeply moving, inspirational history of Joan Root, covering her early days in Kenya as a shy young woman with an almost uncanny ability to connect to animals; her whirlwind courtship with the dashing Alan Root, their marriage, and the twenty years of nonstop adventure, passionate romance, and groundbreaking wildlife filmmaking that followed, both in Africa and around the world; the shattering disintegration of the marriage and partnership; and Joan's triumphant struggle to reinvent herself as the protector of her lakeshore community's fragile ecosystem - a struggle that would lead to her death.

Publisher: New York : Random House, 2009
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781400067367
1400067367
Branch Call Number: 333.9541 ROOT SEAL
Characteristics: xviii, 232 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm

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kfeenstra
Mar 14, 2012

Beautiful book, well written, and not full of glamorizations or extravagances. Got it to read to one of my support care clients, but the book was too full of snake attacks, near-death experiences, and soul-wrenchings. Finished it for myself, and loved it. Very powerful and convicting; third world problems and the conundrums thereof are aptly described.

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puglove
Mar 25, 2011

A tragic terrific story that they need to make a movie of.

MaryBee Aug 28, 2009

Fascinating story or a little-know film-maker.

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kfeenstra
Mar 14, 2012

kfeenstra thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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notTom Dec 16, 2010

Wildflower tells the story of Joan Root and her lifelong love of Africa. Born in Kenya to British parents, she produced award-nominated nature films with her husband Alan, whom she loved passionately in a marraige that would end in harsh betrayal. A brave and remarkable woman, Joan Root’s life of adventure and scientific discovery would end tragically in 2006 as she sought to defend what mattered to her the most, African wildlife.

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