I’m going to admit to having picked a couple of “easy wins” off the bookshelf to try to get the TBR down a bit. I’m also aware I haven’t done the competition winners for the Lethe Press books yet – please bear with, as they say. Things have been a bit hectic recently. At least I’m actually updating this blog: my work one has fallen behind, but as that’s due to having a full work roster, I’m kind of OK with that …

Corinne Hofmann – “Reunion in Barsaloi”

(21 January 2018, from Gill)

Gill had kindly gone through the more elderly parts of my book wish list and picked this one off and I’m so glad I found out what happened next.

18 years before the events in this book, German Corinne was on a ferry in Kenya when she turned and looked into the eyes of a Masai warrior. Her two previous books detailed her affair with, marriage to and flight from this enigmatic man, and dealt in depth with her life in his very rural village an interactions with her mother. This book explores what happens when she goes back, their daughter 14 (and not with her, to save her from possible early marriage and worse) to make contact with her old family again.

Essentially, it’s the story of two weeks in a whole book, so there’s some recapitulation and a lot of detailed emotions and visits. But it’s fascinating to see the two meet again and see their relationship now. I love a book about life in a new country, and those detailing inter-cultural relationships are so interesting. In Corinne’s case, she was – and still is – interwoven with the whole village community.

In addition to this personal homecoming, she visits the film set where the film of her first book is being made, and meets the people playing her and her husband. She seems deeply emotional about this, but almost ashamed of being so.

A fascinating book with sometimes infuriating main protagonists which I was nevertheless very interested and glad to read.


I’m currently finishing Robert Ferguson’s “Scandinavians” which was great until it went into a weird play which I have to admit I skipped. More on that later in the week.