The Honey Guide is a complex tale, with numerous threads, masterfully woven, with perception, empathy, and compassion.
The novel is an exciting read, full of immediacy, authentic flavour and detail, told with evident skill. The intertwining of past and present, of Maasai traditional stories with the contemporary realities of life in Nairobi is particularly lyrical, and refreshingly unrushed, in a novel that is otherwise fast-paced and engrossing: Richard Crompton certainly has the ability to inject the unexpected to keep the reader's interest going.
Crompton also exposes some of the ills of female genital mutilation (FGM), the exploitation and abuse of women, particularly those forced to work as prostitutes. He describes life as it is lived, but there is both the humane and human to be found everywhere. He writes with a keen understanding, also of the complex web of ethnic loyalties; more importantly, he writes with sensitivity. In fact, throughout the book empathy and understanding are in evidence, with no trace of judgementalism, or moralizing.
I look forward to more of Mollel, and others, with social history, commentary as well as social justice issues, treated anew with comprehension and empathy--and that in the crime fiction genre.
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