Isak Dinesen takes up the absorbing story of her life in Kenya begun in the unforgettable Out of Africa, which she published under the name of Karen Blixen. With warmth and humanity these four stories illuminate her love both for the African people, their dignity and traditions, and for the beauty and wildness of the landscape. The first three were written in the 1950s and the last, 'Echoes from the Hills', was written especially for this volume in the summer of 1960 when the author was in her seventies. In all they provide a moving final chapter to her African reminiscences.
Author wrote this one 30 years after she left Kenya. Its the last book she wrote. She died shortly after its publication. It fills in the facts of what happened to the people that Karen wrote about in her book Out of Africa. We get more information about Farah, the Somali-born servant who acted as her chief of staff. He is depicted as fiercely arrogant and utterly loyal, and his death is one of the most moving and tragic moments in the author's writing. Other characters who figure prominently include Kamante, who goes blind, old Juma, who dies, and Abdullahi, Farah’s son, who ultimately prospers.
In this book, the author is reflective and self disclosing, admitting that the African experiences made her writing possible. We also learn more about Masai and Kikuyu culture and the introduction of Western technology and culture, all of which made them listless and turned their old lives into boredom. There is less on the exotic landscape and animals and more on human values and spiritual appreciation. Perhaps she was saying goodbye to her friends in Africa. The author died of malnutrition. She was unable to eat. Some speculate that she died of anorexia nervosa.