Juanita Carberry was the daughter of upper-class British expatriates who were part of the "Happy Valley set" in Kenya in the 1920s and 1930s. As a child, she was sent to various boarding schools in Europe and South Africa when she wasn't being bullied or beaten at home. In January 1941, when she was 15, she became involved in the infamous murder case of Joss Hay, Lord Erroll. Later she was adopted by her uncle in Nairobi, enlisted in the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry during World War II, and was briefly married to a telephone engineer. Her memoir of her childhood and the people, landscape, and wildlife of Kenya was published in 2000.