DiscoverWomen's Fiction

After Kilimanjaro

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Loved it! 😍

A sweet romance/women's fiction about a heroine surgeon who finds purpose and love in Tanzania.

I’m so thrilled I decided to review this book because it fills my heart with joy. Perhaps I’m a bit biased as I spent time in 1996 and 1999 in Tanzania. But I also feel I can be a bit more critical because Tanzania is such a special place for me, where I still have ties to my homestay family, conversational fluency in the language, and a love of the culture.


After Kilimanjaro finds Dr. Sarah Whitaker taking a year off from her medical training as a surgeon in order to work abroad at the Northern Tanzanian Medical Center. The year was supposed to be spent with her fiancé David, where they’d both be conducting research and would climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.


Unfortunately, David doesn’t get his grant. Yet Sarah does. And so, she heads to Tanzania on her own. While there she immerses herself with the staff at the medical center, quickly becoming both colleague and friend. The longer she stays in Tanzania, the more she realizes how much there is to learn from her colleagues as well as how much she has to offer as a teacher.


And let’s not forget the romance! Our hero, Dr. Pieter Meigher, a visiting anesthesiologist from Holland is swoon worthy. When they first meet, the attraction is subtle as both Sarah and Pieter are “tied” to someone else. As the time passes, it becomes apparent Pieter and Sarah are drawn to each other, and they must both reassess their relationships. This romance is sweet yet filled with “goosebump” moments. And the author does a lovely job of illustrating the complexities of the different relationships.


What I love about After Kilimanjaro is how Woodson takes me back to the land, with descriptions of the smells, sights, tastes, and sounds. For those readers who have never been to Tanzania, she creates a vivid landscape that carries us across the ocean.


Moreover, the medical aspects of the novel are fascinating. As someone who does not have a lot of medical background, the descriptions are detailed yet not overly academic. The action of the medical scenes sweep the reader into the excitement, nerves, and adrenaline of the emergency situations.


I couldn’t wait to read more of the story when I was away from the book and was sad to see it end. 

Reviewed by

I review books (except horror) for Kelly Lacey's award-winning blog Love Books Group. I'm a former sociology professor, current mom, and a contracts specialist for a company specializing in chatbots for Higher Ed. I love reading and being swept away into another world through the power of words.

Midflight Crisis

About the author

Dr. Gayle Woodson is a writer and world-renowned surgical educator who has done medical outreach in South America, the Middle East, and Africa. Her debut novel, AFTER KILIMANJARO draws on 12 years of experience teaching at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center in Tanzania. view profile

Published on October 08, 2019

Published by She Writes Press

80000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Women's Fiction

Reviewed by