This is the first time I’ve mentioned a non-knitting book on my website. I recently read a book that was so compelling, I simply must break with tradition.
The book is Skeletons on the Zahara, by Dean King. It’s the riveting true story of American sailors who were shipwrecked off the west coast of Africa in 1815. The good news was they made it safely to shore. The bad news was that they were taken as slaves by desert nomads. The captured sailors’ trials and tribulations are beyond my ability to comprehend – they were starved, beaten and sold to other cruel masters. Literally, they were walking skeletons by the time their ordeal came to an end.
I loved Dean King’s writing style – his narrative is gripping without being hyped-up dramatic. He weaves amazing facts and bits of history into the story. For example, did you know that not so long ago (about 5500 to 2500 B.C.) the Sahara was quite fertile? It had all kinds of wildlife, including hippopotamuses living in lush rivers. It’s hard to believe, looking at it now. Another thing I found fascinating is that camels originated in North America (!).
If you want to read an amazing account of courage, tenacity and survival, check out Skeletons on the Zahara.