Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Tale of a Boon's Wife by Fartumo Kusow

Tale of a Boon's Wife by Fartumo Kusow
First published in Canada by Second Story Press today, the 10th October 2017.

Where to buy this book:



Amazon UK

Amazon US




The Book Depository



How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Despite her family’s threat to disown her, Idil, a young Somali woman, rejects her high Bliss status to marry Sidow, a poor Boon man. Her decision transforms her life, forcing her to face harsh and sometimes even deadly consequences for her defiance of a strict tribal hierarchy. Set in the fifteen-year period before Somalia’s 1991 Civil War, Idil’s journey is almost too hard to bear at times. Her determination to follow her heart and to pursue love over family and convention is a story that has been told across time and across cultures.

Tale Of A Boon's Wife is a very readable novel set in a wonderfully evoked Somalia. Author Fartumo Kusow has imagined an age-old tale of love across sociological divides and surrounds that narrative with rich details of Somali life culture. I loved Idil, our strong female protagonist, who defies established convention and the wills of both families in her determination to marry for love rather than social status. That the object of her love, Sidow, is of an untouchable clan of former slaves, Boons, does not deter Idil, but enrages her father and eldest brother.

We follow Idil from her rich childhood environment - her father is an army general - to Sidow's impoverished Boon farm to city destitution during the vicious civil war. In this way Kusow shows her readers many aspects of Somalia. She also addresses issues of female subjection and cultural assumptions of male superiority. I sympathised immensely with Idil's mother who was desperate for her daughter to make the best of an unfair system, even as that same system let them both down.

I was impressed with Tale Of A Boon's Wife and look forward to reading more of Kusow's work on the strength of this novel. The book felt honest and authentic throughout and helped me to understand a violent and traumatic period in Somalia's past.

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Fartumo Kusow / Women's fiction / Books from Somalia

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