15 May 2007

BOOK REVIEWS :

The Shock (1999) by Michael H. Secka,
The Sun Will Soon Shine (2004) by Sally Singhateh, and
Costly Prices (2005) by Ramatoulie Othman

Books reviewed by:
Dr Pierre Gomez

Senior Lecturer

University of The Gambia




In The Shock (1999) written by Michael Hamadi Secka, the central theme focuses on religious hypocrisy, where people use religion as a tool and a cover to embark upon deleterious or unfathomable social injustices like sex discrimination and child molestation. The text describes the story of a young girl Madina who travels from her village to the city to live with her uncle, whom she never saw before coming to live with him. She is later seduced by her uncle’s friend and gets pregnant. Her uncle forces her to commit abortion and in the process she dies. The uncle not able to bear the shame commits suicide.

In The Sun Will Soon Shine (2004) written by Sally Sadie Singhateh, a female author, portrays an intelligent, ambitious girl growing up in a Gambian village, where marriage and motherhood and Female Genital Mutilation are often issues that women have to endure. The female character, the heroine of the novel is full of immense courage, able to see beyond her situation, despite the bleakness of life. She is overtaken by circumstances beyond her own control and is forced into paths which she has desperately fought against. She is however able to see beyond her situation, despite the bleakness of life. She makes it through her darkest hours and emerges stronger. At the end of the novel, only determination could have changed her situation.

In Costly Prices (2005) by Ramatoulie Othman, the theme centres on tourism which has both economic and cultural gains as well as disadvantages. The story is about three Gambian friends, Musa, Kadri and Lamin who through connections with European friends are able to travel to Europe hoping for a better future. The story however focuses also on the plight of the women left behind by these men and expected to wait for them while they are married to other European women. It also portrays the differences between European and Gambian women on issues relating to decision making, economic independence and culture.

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