Monique and The Mango Rains

Wow. That is all I can really say about this book is WOW. Check out the website and consider either finding yourself a copy or buying your own. This book IS becoming a part of my home library.

I found myself laughing at cultural faux pas and language mishaps, sobbing over the author's retelling of life and loss, and wrapped entirely up in the world of a small village in Mali names Nampossela. From the moment I stepped into the Musojiginniso, I was home. As a mother, a wife, a birther, and a woman, this story spoke to my spirit and awoke a passion in me that cannot be quenched. For every Kadjatou, Monique, and countless other Dembeles, I find myself thankful for our liberties and accessibilities here in the United States - and angry that practices and situations like the ones portrayed in this novel still occur.

As a volunteer for the Peace Corp, Kris Holloway finds herself assigned to a remote village in Mali, Africa to assist in the health practices of the community. Herself, only 21, she quickly finds a strong friendship with the villages midwife, Monique. This is a true story retelling "of the life and death of a remarkable West African midwife, seen through the eyes of a young Peace Corps Volunteer who worked side-by-side with her, birthing babies and caring for mothers, in a remote, impoverished village. It is a rare tale of friendship that reaches beyond borders to vividly and irrevocably unite another woman’s world with our own."

If you pick up this book, consider reading it as a book club, and walk through the book with Kris' reading guide found here. Remember that a portion of the proceeds of book sales go toward the education, housing, and feeding of Monique's children.

Though I have never been there, this novel has transported my heart to a little, dusty village in the heart of Africa.

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