Corinne Hofmann falls in love with a Masai warrior while on holiday with her boyfriend in Kenya. After overcoming all sorts of obstacles, she moves into a tiny shack with him and his mother in his village, and spends four years in Kenya. Slowly but surely the dream starts to crumble until she flees back home with her baby daughter.
This is quite an intriguing story, right up my street, about inter-cultural understanding, marriage and life decisions.
Being an auto-biography at times the story made me gasp. The honesty in which it is written is refreshing and shocking at the same time.
The fate of a woman who fell for a man she couldn’t communicate with at first and who then decided of her own free will to adapt to his strict and often very limiting cultural life style will have many in doubt about the woman’s sanity. And yet her unconditional love, her willingness to compromise teaches us about the nature of compromise and understanding. We normally see the ‘primitive’ culture assimilating to the more developed, whereas here a business woman takes on the different culture and actually makes a success out of it in many ways. It is worth reading for the fresh perspective of Masai life as well as for the thoughts in Hofmann’s head.
Hofmann neither becomes a victim nor does she vilify anyone and that makes her a remarkable and compelling story teller. Quite different from what I had expected this book really grabbed me and never let me go. I still think about her and her force and wonder what other people, particularly feminists, would make of her story.
Please read it and tell me. I’d be curious to know.