Like other women who have fallen in love with Africa—Dame Margery Perham being a superb example—Joy Adamson is a woman of many talents. Unlike Dame Margery, however, she is not a born writer and … [The Searching Spirit] is pedestrian rather than inspired, and we learn very little about Mrs Adamson as a person….
Bereft of the lions,… this book is a little dull. This is not because Mrs Adamson's experiences were dull; they were not….
With so many other talents at her disposal it is perhaps unfair, however, to criticise this author for a lack of writing talent. Her experiment with Elsa attracted the attention of famous scientists and zoologists, and alerted the world to an animal kingdom that without care can be lost forever.
Peggy Crane, "'The Searching Spirit'" (© copyright Peggy Crane 1979; reprinted with permission), in Books and Bookmen, Vol. 24, No. 8, May, 1979, p. 61.