Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Monique and the Mango Rains

Author: Kris Holloway, John Bidwell
Originally published : 2005 (Waveland Press)
Length: 240 pages
Personal Enrichment Rating: 4.5/5
Amazon Rating: 5/5 (61 Customer Reviews)
Goodreads: 369 ratings, 4.21 average rating

I've spent the last couple of hours reacquainting myself with this powerful book and researching information about and interviews with the author so that I could collect my thoughts for this post, but this video really provides a great introduction to what it's all about:

If you don't have time to watch the video, in a nutshell, it's about a Peace Corp volunteer (Kris Holloway, author) who forms a close friendship with Monique, the midwife of a Mali village. It's very readable, and you feel like you're right there as everything is happening. Halloway respects and absorbs much of the culture, but cannot look upon the violation of the universal rights of women without wanting to make a difference. The telling of her experiences in this book gives her a way to do this, while at the same time sharing the remarkable life of Monique Dembele.

This is definitely the ideal selection for a book club, particularly if it consists of women. Not that male readers would not find it valuable, but there's the potential to feel a connection with women in any place in the world. When it comes to my turn to host book club, I'll share our experience.

Website for Monique and the Mango Rains: Includes author interview, links to NPR interview, reader's guide, and how you can help.

Other reviews:

Books on the Brain (Who I won this from. Thanks, Lisa!)
Devourer of Books
Maw Books Blog

The Bluestocking Society
A Striped Armchair

If you have one to add, let me know.


  1. Where do you come up with all these really unique books? That's another I need to add to my list.

  2. Every time I read a review of this book, I think it sounds fascinating.

  3. I read this after Natasha @mawbooks reviewed it. Loved it.

  4. Oh I'm so glad you reviewed this! I added to my wish list after Eva recommended it, but I'd since forgotten about it. Sounds like one I will really, really love. Thanks!

  5. I have this on my TBR List and have seen reviews around for a while; however, I never watched the video until now. WOW! Thanks for posting it.

  6. I had never heard of this one but it sounds like a wonderful read. I'll be giving this one a try for sure. Thanks!