The Bolter by Frances OsborneThe Bolter
By Frances Osborne
320 pages; Knopf


The Bolter chronicles the life of Idina Sackville, a wellborn British woman who defied convention by having "lovers without number" and choosing a decadent expat life in Kenya in 1918. Was Sackville a protofeminist free spirit à la Isak Dinesen or a spoiled rich girl who couldn't resist a scandal? Author Frances Osborne—Sackville's great-granddaughter—traces her ancestor's journey from madcap to just plain mad.