SECRETS OF FASCINATING WOMANHOOD: A BOOK REVIEW

“Fascinating Womanhood is an immensely powerful force for good in your marriage. However, it also gives you the knowledge to manipulate men. Please strongly resist any

Temptation to abuse it in this way.” – Disclaimer by the author of Fascinating Womanhood

Review by Faith Oneya

Any self-respecting feminists will vehemently disagree with some of the book’s contents in principle. The case made for fascinating womanhood appears to be strongly rooted in the bible( Even though the author takes her sweet time to make a disclaimer to nullify this) and makes for an interesting read, whether you are feminist or not.

The book promises to “To show you how to unlock all the love and tenderness in your husband.” In ten simple steps.

The book borrows heavily from the renown “Fascinating Womanhood “Course and promises the readers certain things as listed below;

  • Save your failing marriage.
  • Make your good marriage better.
  • Unlock all the love and tenderness in your man.
  • Develop your full potential as a woman.
  • Increase your self-confidence.
  • Feel happier, lovelier, and more feminine.

The book is written in simple, everyday English that would appeal to the University professor and the “Mama Mboga” with limited education and makes for a very interesting read in the 220 pages that offers testimonials, real-life experiences and practicals (Different sets of homework).

The fascinating womanhood journey is shared through the experiences of Angela, a woman separated from her husband. The story continues to be told through different experiences of the women taking the fascinating womanhood course, all with excellent results (an exaggeration, perhaps?).

The book seems to fundamentally hold good intentions, and can be easily forgiven even for the instances when it starts sounding preachy and quite 18th century, I must say.

All in all, the book provides practical solutions for women that are willing you make their marriages work and subscribes to the school of thought that it is the women who make relationships work.

Feminists and spinsters too will enjoy the different levels of expressing femininity described so vividly in the book.

To get an e-copy of the book, please send a mail to: literarychronicles@gmail.com

You can also get a copy here: http://www.webng.com/cheetah/TR/FaWo_Zealand/intro.pdf

Advertisements

NGUGI WA THIONG’OS DREAMS IN A TIME OF WAR: A Childhood Memoir

Published by: Kenway Publications
Available in all major bookshops
Written by: Ngugi wa Thiong’o
Reviewed by Faith Oneya
It is refreshing to encounter the childlike, playful voice of a young Ngugi wa Thion’go instead of the tough, social activist’s voice that readers of his books have been accustomed to. A particularly humorous paragraph stands out;
“From his European employer my father had learned a few choice English words and phrases –“bloody fool”, “nigger” and “bugger”- but which he Gikuyunized as mburaribuu, kaniga gaka, mbaga ino, and which he used freely to address any of his children at whom he was angry.”
The themes he addresses are not so different from what he has been preaching in all his books. Truth be told, it would be impossible to divorce Ngugi from the themes of Social Change, Mau Mau, Colonialism and Christianity.
In his childhood memoir, Ngugi takes us back to his birth in 1938, under the shadow of the Second World War, to Thion’go wa Nducu and Wanjiku wa Ngugi, and the mysterious circumstances that led them to losing their land to a fellow by the name Bwana Stanley. His fascinating journey continues to the day he started school-and his excitement at wearing real clothes is palpable!
The role that his mother plays in getting him to start school is quite significant and the burning question that his mother asks him; “Is this the best you can do?” seems to be his driving force throughout his childhood journey and eventually to his admittance into Alliance High School.
Ngugi takes the reader though the fascinating and hilarious encounters with school, Christianity , prayers, wheelbarrows , trains, bikes,Pre-colonial politics and many more.
The innocent voice of the author as we discover the world of his childhood with him makes for very captivating read.

Letter to my Daughter

There is not enough air in the room. My heart heaves and my mouth refuses to summon a prayer-it is too dry.

My thoughts are too restless, too random.Suddenly, they go back to the time when I had you, my beautiful daughter, and my thoughts become suddenly settled.

If I had words to describe the feelings I have for you, then my words would automatically burst into song-one word would fit into the other perfectly as they blended into beautiful lyrics.

If only you could see my love for you in my eyes when you looked at me, instead of “the woman who gets in my way”. How can I get in your way? I allowed you out in the first place!

My friend Mary tells me it is this attitude that drives you further away.

My life has been all I ever hoped it would never be  -too many dreams deferred ,too much unbridled hope ,unfinished thoughts, procrastinated actions .But my joys have been swift,unprecedented,umatched,welcome.And for that, I am  grateful.

This is not an unfettered tale of lost hope or faded dreams-you will see enough of that in your life without me drumming it home-and what would I tell you if you asked me if lost hope was ever found, or the colour of faded dreams?

Absolute bliss.Happiness.When they laid my beautiful daughter in my arms-what joy.

You have gone to visit your friend Sarah-to be honest, I have never liked Sarah (What mother likes their thirteen year’s daughter’s worldly, all-knowing friend, who dresses like a tramp and smells of cheap perfume?)I asked you to stay, help me out of bed, and help me prepare some porridge. You looked at me as if I was a stranger asking for help, then you said;

“I have to go.”

There is always a point in a parent’s life when she asks herself “Where did I go wrong?” This was one of those times. I looked at you and realized that I had created this monster.

When you were a toddler and refused to wear your red socks and I said,

“It is alright mummy, you don’t have to.”

Or when you were ten and rudely answered your teacher and I said;

“Teachers are blood sucking failures. Who can blame them with the meagre salaries they earn?”

Or when you were twelve and you were caught fondling with a boy and I said:

“That is not my daughter. She knows better.”

I have created you. And I don’t know how to un-create you.

I am writing this letter because I thought I taught you all life’s lesson not realising that life had a little handbook of its own , whose lessons were rigid, uncompromising.

I want you to know that life will whip you, mock you, bring you down then laugh in your face. The lessons will be long and hard, because life is a brutal, thorough, relentless teacher.

There will be good times, beautiful times even, but they will be far-flung, far between that the bad times will overshadow them.

I can picture your face as you read this letter. You will pick it up and say:

“What does she want now?”

And after reading the first sentence, you will say:

“Trust her to try to make me feel guilty about leaving her alone for one second.”

You will not believe me when you read that I love you. And that is the reason I am looking anxiously at your face as you read my letter, hoping that for a glimpse of assurance.

Interview with author of ‘Not a Chance’

1. Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that story idea?        

‘Not a Chance’ is a true story of recovery from the addiction of gambling and smoking. When I eventually found a road to recovery from a devastating gambling addiction, my gambling experiences seemed to me like scenes from a thriller movie. I couldn’t believe that I actually went through it. I felt an overwhelming urge to share the story.


2. How did you get interested in writing this particular genre? Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

Right from my formative years, I had always wanted be a writer because it gave me a means of expressing myself to the fullest.  I had been a member of writers club where we wrote newsletters on the happenings at school.  Later, I got into writing articles for newspapers, and friends encouraged me to write a book. My Christian faith also led me to share my testimony as a means of getting healed from my gambling addiction.

3. What kind of research did you do for this book?

I did lots of research in the internet to ascertain the real impact of gambling addiction. I also delved into newspaper archives to acquaint myself with the history of the addiction. By the time I was through, I was convinced that gambling addiction was a worldwide problem which was only beginning to take root in Kenya.
4. What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?

I believe that a writer is a reader and a reader is a learner. My writing is a result of what I read and by extension, what I have learned. I am in the habit of writing down whatever ideas I come across on a daily basis, which I use to boost my work.

 
5. What is the hardest part of writing for you?

For me the hardest part is getting someone to become interested in your work, especially if it is the first work.


6. What’s the best thing about being an author?

Being an author gives you the satisfaction of knowing that your work will be available for posterity. Writers live long after they have died, and nothing could be more satisfying than knowing future generations will benefit from your experiences.

7. What are you working on now? Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I am working on a story about gambling addiction from the perspective of the gamblers’ relations. This promises to be another juicy bit. Can’t wait to see it out.


8. What advice would you give aspiring writers?

Never give up. Never destroy a manuscript just because someone says it’s worthless. If writing is your passion keep on writing for, I can assure you, in due time you will see your work in print.


9. Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books? If, so, which ones?

Favorite books include Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe and Land Without Thunder by Grace Ogot.
10. What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
How long did it take to have your book published? Five years to be precise. I couldn’t self-publish because of the costs involved, and no one seemed interested. But eventually the book was published.

Review of ‘Not a Chance’

Author: Jackson Okoth

Available at: Catholic Bookshop , Book point

Retail Price: KES.350/=

 

The dedication at the beginning of the book reads: “This book is also dedicated to my daughters, Livia and Megan, who bore the brunt of my gambling addiction, and never stopped calling me ‘Daddy’” which betrays the honesty with which the book is written.

One need not read Jackson Okoth’s “Not a Chance” farther than the first chapter to discover the warmth and sincerity that leaps from each line which makes the book a  rare and refreshingly honest read bereft of any “pretentions” of the modern writer that sometimes seeks to show might of the pen  under the beloved Thesaurus and loses the reader in the process. There is no fancy language or fancy expressions in this book, but the simplicity of the writing in no way waters down the message but instead manages to deliver it in as real a manner as possible.

Not A Chance is the simple story of second chances, of the painful journey of addiction and the redemption at the very end. I will leave you to discover how the author got himself mixed up in gambling. It is a personal story of courage and conviction, and triumph over addiction.

The manner of storytelling in the novella is reminiscent of the storytellers in our forefather’s times . The reader often gets the impression that he is sitting around the fireplace, listening to the story being told orally.

Readers looking for an easy, richly informative and lesson-filled read will enjoy this book.