Customer Review

35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but such an irritating read, 3 Jan 2008
This review is from: The White Masai (Paperback)
This book is a fascinating biography of one woman's experience of starting a new life in an alien culture. Her story begins when she meets her Masai on holiday and becomes obsessed by him. She leaves her home country Switzerland to become his wife and live in the depths of Kenya.

The back of the book has the quote from the Daily Mail 'dashing tale of love and adventure' and herein lies the fundamental reason as to why this book is so incredibly irritating. Hofman clearly is NOT in love with her masai. Throughout the book she keeps trying to create the impression to the reader that this is love with rather whimsical descriptions and lots of 'My darling husband' scattered generously throughout its pages. However beneath the fluff it is interesting when you look at her core descrptions of him and their relationship. She talks of being a 'breathtakingly beautiful man' 'he looks like a young god'. She later describes ' his sleek body' in detail. Infact at no point in this book are we presented with any evidence that she was 'in love', instead we are left with the impression that this is a holiday romance gone horribly wrong (eventually) and that she is obsessive and to be honest, a bit of a bunny-boiler. The GREATLY over-used description of her Masai as 'my darling' on almost every page left me wanting to extract my own eye balls, on more than one occaision and physically shout at Ms Hofman to 'WAKE UP AND GET A GRIP YOU SILLY WOMAN'.

I could not feel sympathy for her at any point in the book. Towards its end, there is a chapter which details her becoming very unwell and needing a significant stay in hospital for liver problems. She is warned not to eat meat as it will make her ill again but 'sneaks afew pieces' when her Masai comes to visit her and brings her a roasted goat leg. It makes her ill, resulting in a doctor screaming at her that if she didn't want to get better why is she in hospital in the first place. It is another example of her making a bad decision based on emotion rather than common sense. The best bit of this book comes when the doctor screams at her for being so stupid, a feeling echoed by myself for the entire book.

I would recommend this book as it is truely interesting, however it is not a book of one womans bravery, of following her heart and love. It is a story of an impressionable woman following her sex drive and making a life style choice based upon her labido and thats OK as we all make good and bad decisions in life. However the marketing of this book made me expect alot more inspiration and 'depth' from its pages, from this book which is apparently ' steeped in humanity' and a tale Hofman's bravery. Instead I was left with the feeling that I had been somewhat mislead and this is the story of a silly woman who made a rather silly choice.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 7 Sep 2009 16:10:13 BDT
T. Harrison says:
Great review!

Posted on 25 Apr 2011 12:16:26 BDT
Great review! So glad I borrowed this book and didn't buy it.

Posted on 23 Jul 2011 21:38:16 BDT
A. Rose says:
"extract my own eye balls" LMAO! What a review, very balanced...and funny!
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