This book is very interesting but slightly repetitive. The author records her extensive interviews that she conducted with Kenyan women. She used a tape recorder and so much of the book is written verbatim from the discussions that she had with these women. Some of the topics that she covers are husband-wife relationships, aids, education, marriage, raising children and the work that a typical day entails.
An interesting aspect of life for these women is the corporal punishment that abounds in their daily life. According to this book, women accept being beaten by their husbands or perhaps their parents as the natural order of events. Many viewed it as punishment for behaving badly, for example, burning dinner. There were a few women who escaped from abusive marriages and didn't re-marry, but several of the women were satisfied with husbands who beat them but didn't threaten their lives. Interestingly enough, most of the women, even knowing what married life was likely to be like, wanted to marry and have children. This was a concept that was hard for my American mind to grasp.
Another theme of these women's lives is the fact that they often bear the sole responsibility of raising their children and providing for them financially. The fathers of the children often don't even provide their children with money for food or their elementary education.
This book provides the reader with a very detailed and insightful look into the daily lives of some of the women of Kenya. Very good for those with an anthropological bent, but perhaps not so great for those who are just looking for a good novel. I enjoyed it very much myself and recommend it to anyone who is thinking of traveling to Africa or who is interested in studying the culture of Kenya.