Author: Corinne Hofmann
Price: Ksh 1,550
Extent: 322 pages
Available at Prestige bookshop/Amazon
Corinne Hofmann, a business woman from Switzerland, lands at the Kenyan coast for a vacation in the company of her boyfriend. She sets her eyes on an ochre dyed tall, dark brown, beautiful exotic man – a Masai warrior, Lketinga. Corrine becomes so drawn to the Masai that she decides to sell her business in Switzerland and move to Kenya. Just like that!
“My God, he’s beautiful, more beautiful than anyone I have ever seen.”
“The next day is our second to last, and I’ve made up my mind to tell my Masai that, after the end of the holiday, I’m leaving Marco. Compared with what I feel for Lketinga, everything that I have felt up until now seems laughable. Somehow I have to make that clear to him tomorrow and tell him that soon I will be coming back on my own. Only for a moment does it cross my mind that I don’t know what he might feel about me, but immediately I tell myself there is only one answer: he feels exactly the same!”
Without any care of the culture she’s about to plunge into, or that they can only exchange a few words in English, Corinne is unstoppable. She is unaware of the rough terrains she is about to cross, both literally and figuratively. Will it be worth it?
The tale details Corinne’s adventures and misadventures in the woods, living in mud houses smeared of cow dung, and the threat of the Masai culture on her western self.
She would learn that in this African culture, passion is unheard of, and well, sex is just that.
Corrine makes little effort to understand the Masai culture and it is on the eve of her wedding that she learns of FGM as an ingredient of the marriage rites. The wedding happens regardless after Lketinga says she was circumcised at birth.
Corrine sinks almost all her money to make the marriage work out in the bush, to even opening a shop that sadly doesn’t stand the test of time.
After the birth of their daughter, Napirai, Lketinga becomes unreasonably jealous and suspicious of his wife’s fidelity. Sometimes, he gets into fits of rage and disappears for days.
“No problem, Corinne. You have another man, Corinne. No problem, Corinne, I am an asshole, Corinne, no problem. I am a complete waste of oxygen, Corinne, no problem. No problem Corinne, I am useless beyond belief. Oh Corinne, no problem, you a whore, Corinne?” He rants.
He also gets more into drinking alcohol and chewing miraa. Perhaps it is the one sided story but Corrine seems to be the only wheel in the relationship. Many times, she makes excuses for him- citing cultural difference – but I’d give a lot to hear Lketinga’s story.
Lketinga’s family is accommodative and even respectful of Corinne. His mother is admirably reasonable, not to mention James, Lketinga’s brother – a fine young man. I wondered how it would have been if Corinne had landed James instead!
(Happy days, Lketinga &Corinne – How sweet? :-))
From endless journeys at the risk of running into wild animals to diseases, nothing fazes Corrine Hoffman; at least for an admirable time.
This book is a page-turner. It’s beautifully prosed with short sentences and chapters.
When the train starts moving I could jump for joy. I lean back glowing like a lantern and laugh to myself. I’m overcome with a wonderful feeling of freedom. I could shout aloud and share my happiness and plans with everybody on the train. I’m free, free, free.
If you are into adventure and romance (though there is barely any), you’ll want to read this one. You might love Corrine’s boldness, or hate her seemingly thoughtless choices. Or be taken aback by statements such as “And then my resolve steels itself again, and I am as convinced as ever that this man is all I need to be happy.”
Maybe she had to go through it all, to live it.
What appealed to me most in this book is how the author details her journey and of course the Samburu culture.
Will their love be enough cushion against all? Will it last? You might want to find out.