"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Monique and the Mango Rains by Kris Holloway

Just a quickie review of a fabulous little book. Monique and the Mango Rains: Two Years with a Midwife in Mali by Kris Holloway will make a perfect book club selection or a book to generate discussion among friends/classmates. This book is a nonfiction story about a Peace Corps worker assigned to work in Mali and her relationship with the midwife of the village, Monique. It is an endearing tale of friendship, family life, and health care in a rural African village.

Kris Holloway writes with candor and heart about her friendship with Monique and about the realities of life for most individuals living in rural villages in Africa.  Many of her stories demonstrate the horrors of  poverty and the "backwardness" of many of the health care choices people have to make in order to survive. At the time that this book was written 30-50% children died before reaching adulthood. Death from malnutrition and infection were common. Yet, among the many tragic tales there were funny stories of misuse of language, loving stories of family devotion, and community members that come together to play, work, and dance. I was very touched by this book.

I think this would make a great discussion book.  Possible topics: worldwide healthcare concerns; prenatal care and contraceptive availability; tribal traditions and communication; Peace Crops; death as part of life; female circumcision; arranged marriages; and political unrest in Mali and other African countries. Seriously, I think this book should be considered for book club selections, or ethnic studies.


  1. Ashley's friend Max went to Mali from Senegal. (Ashley visited Ghana and Togo instead)But she wants to visit there also.

  2. I read this book last year and absolutely LOVED it! It was inspiring, interesting, informative, well written and just a joy to read. So glad someone else has "discovered" it

  3. This book sounds like it could be a good option for when my reading challenge takes me to Mali? Thanks for the great review!


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