Author: Kris Holloway
Genre: Adult, non-fiction, international theme
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
FTC Disclosure: I bought this book with my own money
Summary: (from the back of the book): Monique Dembele saved lives and dispense hope in a place where childbirth is a life-and-death matter. This book tells of her unquenchable passion to better the lives of women and children in the face of poverty, unhappy marriages, and endless backbreaking work. Monique's buoyant humor and willingness to defy tradition were uniquely hers. In the course of this deeply personal narrative, as readers immerse themselves in the rhythms of West African village life, they come to know Monique as friend, mother, and inspired woman.
Review: This book is right up my alley: personal story, international setting, plight of the downtrodden, women who inspire and succeed. Kris Holloway's narrative is easy to read and has a perfect blend of her reflections of her Peace Corps experience, her romance, Malian village life, Monique's individual life, and the care of women in the village of Nampossela.
This book has funny moments that made me laugh, poignant moments where I cried, and stories of the goodness in people that made me hopeful for humanity. Of course, I won't lie, there are also awful moments when I wanted to scream and fly to Mali to save all the women and children from cruelty, poverty, and tradition.
Holloway's friendship with Monique is at the heart of this book and it is tender, inspirational, educational (quite a lot of details about midwifery), and heartbreaking. It is because these two women from very different background became such good friends that this book works. We see Monique through Holloway's eyes and quickly wish we could have known her, for she was selfless, giving, strong, smart, and funny.
There is now a Cabinet de Soins Monique that accepts donations and updated information for those that are interested.