Wildflower: An Extraordinary Life and Untimely Death in Africa
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From her passion for animals to her storybook love affair, to her hard-fought crusade to save Kenya's beautiful Lake Naivasha, WILDFLOWER is naturalist, filmmaker and lifelong conservationist joan Root's gripping life story - a stunning and moving love story featuring a remarkable modern-day heroine. After 20 years of spectacular, unparalleled wildlife filmmaking together Joan and Alan Root divorced and a fascinating woman found her own voice. Renowned journalist Mark Seal offers this breathtaking, culturally relevant portrait of a strong woman discovering herself and fighting for her beliefs before her mysterious and brutal murder. With a cast as wild, wondrous and unpredictable as Africa itself, WILDFLOWER is a real-life adventure tale set in the world's disappearing wilderness. Rife with personal revelation, intrigue, corruption and murder, readers will remember Joan Root's extraordinary journey long after they turn the last page of this utterly compelling book.
all of a sudden, Elizabeth II was standing right in front of them. Joan curtsied as Buxton said, “Your Royal Highness, I would like to present Joan and Alan Root.” The queen held out her gloved hand, shaking first with Joan, then with Alan. Next came official greetings with Prince Philip and the teenage Prince Charles. Then the royal party waited in the lobby for a few minutes, studying the photographs of Joan, Alan, and the wildlife of the Galápagos, while the filmmakers went into the
leaping onto the hood of their Land Rover; and scenes of Alan and Joan soaring over Africa in their airplane and hot-air balloon.] EXT. AFRICAN LANDSCAPE, DAY Alan and Joan, running at full speed through the bush. ANNOUNCER: But above all, they have a deep understanding and love for the creatures they film, and for Africa. They will need all those qualities in the future. And their kind of Africa is fast disappearing. Their films, and others like them, have done much to show the world what a
economic and ecological problems it carried in its wake. Naivasha’s flower industry was founded, essentially, at the Djinn Palace, the most famous house on the lake, an exotic stark-white Moorish fantasy of domes, turrets, and cupolas, the polar opposite of Joan Root’s simple cottage. Known not only for its splendor but also for its turbulent history, it had been purchased by its current owners, June and Hans Zwager, in 1967. It had been built in 1927 by Hollywood actor Cyril Ramsay-Hill. During
always bloomed where she’d been planted, whether it was the harsh lion habitat of Tsavo, a burned-out hut in the middle of gorilla country, or on the banks of a crocodile-infested river in the Congo. Now, with everything ripped away from her, she would live again, bloom again, be Joan again. She would land her plane in Naivasha, and here, with a lifetime of bush lore and learning behind her, she would begin again. And with the cause she would embrace—the struggle to save her beloved lake—she
man at the helm. Once they were in striking distance, Chege would scream, “Toka!” (Swahili for “Get out!”), and the Task Force would leap from the boat like a storm cloud from hell. “We’d beat them, whip them, screaming abuse,” recalled one member of the team. Not inclined to argue or debate, the Task Force simply attacked. If you were on the lake with a net during the fishing ban, you were guilty. Upon apprehending the poachers, the Task Force would confiscate the nets, then take them to the