Friday, October 12, 2007

A Lion in the Bedroom by Pat Cavendish O'Neill

Here Pat tells the story of her charmed life among the glittering names of the twentieth century – Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Gianni Agnelli, Princess Grace and the Hollywood crowd – and the day everything changed for her, when she was presented with a tiny lion cub and she entered a world more magical and inspiring than anything she had known before.

Pat Cavendish O'Neill was born into a world of enormous riches, eccentricity and intrigue. She tells the story of her glitzy expatriate life in Kenya, where scandal and affairs were commonplace among the wealthy aristocratic foreigners...

And of how it all changed for her when she was presented with a tiny lion cub. This was her beloved Tana.

This book has taken me absolute ages to read, and not by any means because it was a dull story (it's just pretty lengthy at 600 pages)! I chose it as an out-of-the-ordinary read for myself but after my recent trip to Kenya (and a visit to Joy Adamson of Born Free fame's house), I thought it would be worth it ... and I was right.

It is a well-written easy to read book and a fascinating life story. Pat Cavendish O'Neill has certainly lived to experience a many-varied lifestyle. From being a decadent heiress (although a naive one), with enough money to travel around the world many times over (which she did) and have family homes in so many countries to being a dedicated "mother" to more lost animals than one could count.

Her story takes you back to a time I can hardly imagine, with experiences I could barely relate to with the common-place-ness of the Royal guests and the long list of famous friends. But in the end, nothing can prepare you for the depth of emotion she manages to convey when she tells the stories of her beloved Tana and the incredibly bond they have.

I'd recommend it to anyone who loves a good biography, because this woman has truly lived!

Buy this book online at Amazon UK, Kalahari or Loot


parisny said...

Question: how did you get this book, phillygirl???
It is not published in US and cost online is about $200!
I'd love to read it, please respond and thanks.

phillygirl said...

Well someone in our bookclub bought it. In South Africa it's on our bookshop shelves so I don't really know what to suggest?

I'm not sure if our local online book sites ( and ship internationally either?

phillygirl said...

Have just had a look at kalahari and they do ship internationally. But it should be really cheap for you with the current USD to ZAR exchange rate ;) Check it out!

kelly said...

Hey Parisny
I have just read this book, Lion in the Bedroom, for the second time and I absolutely love it!
Did you end up getting it. It is on the book shelves in Australia.
Kelly from Australia

Stephen said...

I am the publisher of A Lion In The Bedroom. It can be obtained through my internet site Pat is a wonderful woman and the minute I read the manuscript I knew it would appeal to all sorts of people. It has ben a great success. My only regret is I haven't been able to find a US publisher. It is a mystery why I can't get it picked up as I know it would be successful.