Sunday, 24 March 2013

Monique and the Mango Rains - Kris Holloway (Mali)

Monique Dembele saves lives and dispenses hope in a place where childbirth is a life-and-death matter. Her unquenchable passion to improve the lot of the women and children in her West African village is matched by her buoyant humour in the face of unhappy marriage and backbreaking work. This is the deeply compelling story of the rare friendship between a young development volunteer and this midwife who defies tradition and becomes - too early in her own life - a legend.

This is the story of author Author Kris Holloway's time in Africa, where she served as a Peace Corps volunteer from 1989 to 1991, working alongside the Monique of the title, midwife Monique Dembele.

This was an interesting book for me, on a subject that I am unfamiliar with, a relatively quick read of about 2 days. Having read several similar books, I was already aware of the issues that midwives in this part of the world face, in particular around the practise of female circumcison, and hoped that this book would add to this, giving more insights. I was then disappointed that it seemed to scratch over the surface of these issues, concentrating instead on the lives of the two women involved - Monique herself and the American born author. Don't get me wrong, it was still an interesting story, and I was still shocked by much of it, particularly Monique's husband and his attitude (Mali is still a deeply patriarchal society), but this book could for me at least, have been so much more. Despite this, due to the quality of the writing, I would still give it four stars.

A proportion of proceeds from the book go towards helping Midwifery services in Mali, so this is a good incentive to donwload a copy.

No comments:

Post a Comment