Kate Nicholls left England to raise her five children in Botswana: an experience that would change each of their lives. Living on a shoestring in a lion conservation camp, Kate home-schools her family while they also learn at first hand about the individual lives of wild lions. Their deep attachment to these magnificent animals is palpable.
The setting is exotic but it is also precarious. When the author is subjected to a brutal attack by three men, it threatens to destroy her and her family: post-traumatic stress turns a good mother into a woman who is fragmented and out of control.
In this powerfully written, raw and often warmly funny memoir, we witness the devastation of living with a mother whose resilience is almost broken, and how familial structures shift as the children mature and roles change. Under the CamelthornTree addresses head-on the many issues surrounding motherhood, education, independence, and the natural world; and highlights the long-lasting effect of gender violence on secondary victims. Above all, it is an inspiring account of family love, and a powerful beacon of hope for life after trauma.