Forbidden Fruit is a story written about peasant farmers and their families who live in a small village in western Kenya.
Ombima and his family live in a thatched hut in a compound where they grow a few crops and vegetables. To supplement their income they also work for Andimi, a rich tea farmer and businessman.
It is Andimi’s luscious garden which tempts Ombimi into stealing one evening, against his better nature. Alas, his actions lead him down a slippery path.
This book is filled with vivid descriptions of everyday life for the villagers, from daily chores, to medical emergencies, a funeral wake and the Christmas celebrations. The dialogue is challenging for western reading ears, with its mix of local words and mannerisms, but readers will get used to it as they continue with the book.
Certainly one to read if you are interested in everyday African life; the plot unravels slowly, and is not the star of the show, but if you’re after a descriptive flavour of Africa, then give this a try.
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Fiction. African and African American Studies. Winner of the Jomo Kenyatta Prize for Literature. Desperate to make ends meet, Ombima commits a “harmless” crime. When he tries to conceal his misdeed, the simple farm laborer becomes a reluctant participant in a sinister affair. If discovered, the consequences could be disastrous for Ombima’s family, friends, and a spate of unwitting, gossipy villagers. A delicious tale of greed, lust, and betrayal, Stanley Gazemba’s FORBIDDEN FRUIT is more than a dramatic tale of rural life in western Kenya. The moral slips and desperate cover-ups–sometimes sad, sometimes farcical–are the stories of time and place beyond the village of Maragoli.
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