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Reviewed by Melanie Kennedy for Readers' Favorite
Sleeping With Lions: A Year in Tanzania is an inspirational memoir by Lee Anne McIlroy. Facing the anxiety of empty nest syndrome, Lee applies for a teaching fellowship in Tanzania. She chronicles her arrival, and all the extraordinary people she meets, lives, and works with, as well as introduces us to the various wonders Tanzania has to offer. We travel along with Lee as she builds one of the most memorable years and friendships of her life in the small town of Bukoba.
I utterly loved Lee Anne McIlroy’s memoir of her year in Tanzania. As a South African, I appreciated her compassionate and objective view of African culture and education. She was right in saying many people might ask “Why Africa?” in a disdainful way, but the real question should be “Why not?” Sleeping With Lions: A Year in Tanzania celebrates African culture, language, and womanhood. I admired Lee for standing up to the few rare occasions when men wanted to intimidate her, as well as for the encouragement and support she provided to the women in Tanzania. Her courage and compassion in those instances are admirable. As an animal lover, I can only wish that a beautiful dog would one day walk up to my front door and never leave. Perhaps my husband will then accept that the universe telling me a third dog is not out of the question. Lee’s memoir is inspirational, beautiful, scenic, and celebratory of all the things that make this life great.