Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Scarlet Song (HOT BOOK)
So ,I've been reading since I was like 4 and before I could read,my dad would put me on his laps and read stories about princesses and princes.However, the stories that have been imprinted on my mind till this day are the ones he would recite to me about 'Kalulu' which is a rabbit in my language and about Hyenas ,lions and the other animals that are resident to the African safaris .Even though I loved those stories ,I could never find any African written book that held my attention longer than a few seconds as I grew older and grew tired of the 'Kalulu' stories.So I basically avoided the African writer's section at the bookshops back home and would instead read books about Sabrina the Teenage Witch..
My choice of books would result in arguments with my father who would ask me why I enjoyed Harry Potter type books when there were similar books about witch doctors flying on bottle tops written by africans .My dad has nothing against Harry Potter but he just wanted me to find out more about my culture .He felt that it was one of the only ways I would remain connected to my heritage beacuse due to the fact that I was born abroad ,had my first real visit to my country in 1991 and was off to Germany when I was 4 ,only lived in Zambia for 7 years ,Ethiopia for 4 and now the US,I couldn't really say I was 'Zambian'.After all,to this day ,I must say quite shamefully that I still can only utter a few words in my parents different language,which doesn't count because I speak it in a weird accent that no-one back home understands.
So when last year ,in my IB 1 English class,my caucasian teacher said that we were going to read books by African writer's and asked if I knew any ,I thankfully managed to delve into my memory and remember Mariam Ma Ba from one of those conversations with my dad that I mentioned above.
I must say that I fell in love with the book' Scarlet Song' by Mariam Ma ba .By 'Falling in Love' I mean the feeling that I call 'Unputtable down' which simply means it's so good that you can't put it down .The kind of book that makes you want to sneak a peek at the last chapter but use all your will power not to because you know that you'll get there in due course.
'Scarlet Song ' is about a west african boy called Ousmane who falls in love with a white french diplomats daughter called Mireille.The two begin a whirl-wind and passionate romance that is sadly not without it's problems.Ousmane finds it hard to tell his traditional and conservative family and so does Mireille .However ,Their relationship is exposed and Mireiile is sent away to her country where her and Ousmane continue a long-distance relationship.A few years later,the lovers are reunited and disowned by her parents,Mireille is brought back to Senegal.Ousamne's mother causes problems for the couple as well as his friends and matters are complicated further when Ousamne is tempted by an old flame who manages to seduce him enough to have his baby ,while his wife also has a child.Ultimately,Ousmane must decide between his wife and mistress and this leads into a surprising ending .I won't spill the beans on what happens beacuse if my review interested you enough,you can go to your local Barnes and Noble and pick it up or go to the website and type in the title of the book .Im looking forward to comments and opinions on the book that illustrates the clashing of two cultures.