Listening For Lions By Gloria Whelan


It is 1918 and Rachel lives in a mission hospital in Kenya. Her parents are hardworking, sacrificial English missionaries, dedicated to helping the sick and illiterate. Rachel has never known any other life and she loves Africa. She loves the mission where she helps and loves the tribal people, the terrain, and most of all, she loves going to sleep with the lions roaring in the distance.

One day her world collapses and she must become like the very lions she loves – strong while patiently gathering their strength for the right time to act. Rachel is transported to a new world she has never known – England. There she is caught in a deceitful plot to influence a dying man’s will.


This story is about courage, patience, loyalty and overcoming evil with love. It is a moving tale which keeps you turning pages till the end. We read the story out loud and my girls were always asking for the next chapter.

While I loved the plot, I was especially taken by descriptions of wildlife and their environment in Kenya and England. The heroine loves being outdoors and wherever she finds herself in the world, she grows to love the creation around her. Rachel also loves reading, so there are many references to classical literature in this story.


One reviewer of this book stated that Rachel saw a career as more important that marriage. From my reading, I saw a young woman with a love for her homeland and her parent’s legacy. She turned down marriage, not because she didn’t want to be married, but rather the person who asked her was not suitable.

I recommend this book for 10-12+ Some of the plot subtleties will be lost on a younger audience. This issue is softcover and 208 pages long.

ISBN: 9780060581763
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Inc, USA, 2006

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