Born Free [Book Review]

Relationships cross many different species, and animal-human relationships may be the most special. For today’s “Book Review Thursday”, Animal Culture would like to share a very special book about a human-lion relationship.

First, however, we would like to share one of our favorite videos, just to get the heart pumping and the tears flowing. *Note: The shirtless guy in the end of the video is George Adamson, the husband of the below book’s author, Joy Adamson.*

Happy Reading, All!

Title: Born Free: A Lioness of Two Worlds

Author: Joy Adamson

Synopsis: “Joy Adamson’s story of a lion cub in transition between the captivity in which she is raised and the fearsome wild to which she is returned captures the abilities of both humans and animals to cross the seemingly unbridgeable gap between their radically different worlds. Especially now, at a time when the sanctity of the wild and its inhabitants is increasingly threatened by human development and natural disaster, Adamson’s remarkable tale is an idyll, and a model, to return to again and again.” 

ISBN: 0375714383

Born Free: A Lioness of Two Worlds (Story of Elsa, #1)


The Adamsons – Joy and George – became recognized from the hit book, A Lion Called Christian, in which they had helped rehabilitate Christian, a pet lion, back into the wild (see video above).  However, their work with lions did not start with Christian, and Born Free takes you back to the beginning.

And it all began with Elsa.  Born Free is the account and adventure of lioness Elsa’s life, and the difficult task Elsa provided for her human parents, Joy (the author) and George (her husband) Adamson.  Raised by the Adamsons since she was a baby, Elsa treated them as her lion pride, and they treated her as their child, however never forgetting the fact that she was a wild lion.  Her life with them flew by as she grew from a cub into a full-size, and eventually a wild, lioness.

The story itself is touching, and it transports you through its writing.  Joy Adamson has written quite a few books, and her written language reads like she is having a face-to-face conversation with the reader.  Her writing flows, and it feels as if you are experiencing Elsa’s life with the Adamsons.  Joy is a professional painter and photographer as well, and her beautiful pictures of Elsa, Africa, and the unlikely family’s adventures are scattered throughout the pages, which makes it an even more intriguing read.  The ending of the book, which is comprised of letters from George to Joy, adds an even more personal touch to the readers.  

Animal stories have a way of providing a different perspective to the world – especially if they are true – and Born Free is one of those books that will touch your heart and stay in your mind for a while after it is read. The ending of the book, and ultimately the Adamson’s time with Elsa, made the entire book worth it, and you will walk away with tears in your eyes and a happy heart.

Purchase it at here: Born Free

Have you read this book? What was your take on it? Join the discussion below!

*Note: The synopsis was taken from The review was written by © Kalie Lyn 2011, originally published on her personal blog, Palm Trees & Bare Feet.*

One response to “Born Free [Book Review]

  1. Pingback: List-It: The Achievements of Naturalist Joy Adamson | Animal Culture

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