Beyond White Mischief: Memoirs of a Tea Planter's Wife
When Sheila Ward went off to RADA to train as an actress in the early 1950s, she had no idea of the stormy path her life would take. After a short career as an actress in rep, with all the joys of juggling different roles and the comic possibilities of living in grim digs on very little money, she met and married a tea planter, and went off to live in Africa.
Through Sheila's diaries, life in Africa springs into sharp relief as she learns to live with snakes, bugs and recalcitrant servants. Sheila and her husband have four children and gradually adapt to a very different way of life. She meets the author Gerald Durrell, and Joy and George Adamson of Elsa the lioness fame, entertains fellow ex-pats and learns to love the unique terrain of Kenya’s hills.
But this seemingly charmed life is marred by a dreadful family tragedy, and a growing mistrust between Sheila and her husband. Family life begins to break down, and Sheila has to face the loneliness and heartbreak of living in a foreign country in an empty marriage.
With devastating honesty Sheila Ward's diaries document these difficult years, and her determination to build a new life for herself and face the future with impressive optimism.