When United States Peace Corps volunteer Kris Holloway is assigned to help in a village in Mali, her host is an exceptional young woman: Monique Dembele. In one of the poorest countries in the world, Monique is a midwife valiantly working to improve the lives of village women.
Offering the reader a unique window into the experiences of West African women, this is an outstanding story of hardship, courage and hope and is aptly subtitled 'an extraordinary story of friendship in a midwife's house in Mali'. [Larger font]
We all enjoyed the book. Kris Holloway wrote the book without putting herself forward and kept it about Monique. Onawe 001
Everyone was in awe of Kris and how well she assimilated and coped in such difficult and primitive circumstances. The discussion went well with a lot of input by everyone and we all thought it a worthwhile read. Timaru 007
We loved this book. One of our most popular reads this year. Auckland 297
Really enjoyed the book. Great feedback and discussion. Whaka 014
We loved this book. A well-written account of political, social and family issues in a third world country and how friendship can bridge barriers. Highly recommended. Te Awamutu 003
A wonderful read, about unique friendships, embracing culture and looking at the diversity of the world we live in.
Very interesting and worthwhile book about an amazing woman. Very good discussion.
A wonderful book that all members of the group enjoyed reading. It has been 18 months since our group read this book and it was recently discussed again as one of the more memorable books that has stuck with us. Highly recommended.
We liked the interactions between Kris and Monique, and the depiction of the warmth of their relationship and the general feel of a Mali village where even getting needed water was difficult. (I think about this when we are blithely pouring water down the sink.)It was specially pleasing they kept up contact later, and Monique's death was very sad. The other characters, too, were interesting. Our discussion was mostly about the characters; we did wonder if Kris was a bit naive travelling there.
A wonderful tribute to a compassionate and dedicated midwife working in 3rd world conditions in Mali, and to the trust and friendship that existed between her and Kris, the Peace Corp volunteer. We all enjoyed this book and learned a lot. Good discussion.
We all found "Monique and the Mango Rains" such a pleasure to read. It is a very well and sensitively written book which is a real credit to the author. As the character of Monique unfolds, the reader feels she is a person we know very well, and we all felt saddened at her passing. A book and a character we will always remember.
Most of our group found this book very interesting and certainly informative, and a real "eye-opener" to the lives of the women of Mali. We all felt that Kris Holloway was very courageous to live in such conditions, and her portrayal of Monique, an amazing woman, was really insightful. We could feel the real bond of "sisterhood" that was established between the two women, and we all felt compelled to keep reading.
Very interesting and an inspiration to us all. Our club sent a donation to Clinique Monique for the women of Mali.
This book elicited active discussion. The most positive comment was how skilfully the author had made the book Monique's story; it was not another "coming of age" saga, which had been a fear. It was noted too how non judgemental Kris was - she let the issues come out through the stories and the people, with the result that there was an underlying sense of dignity and respect. No easy answers were offered for complex cultural issues. Obvious comparisons were made with 'The Boy who Harnessed the Wind', which the group had enjoyed also.
Enjoyed generally - lots of discussion on whether one culture should go into another country and show them how things should be done.
Generally well received. It gave us an insight into life in Mali, particularly village life and the lot of women and babies. A book that most of us would not have read if it had not been a Book Club pick.