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August 2020 Mozambique > First half of the book

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message 1: by Melanie (last edited Aug 02, 2020 01:20AM) (new)

Melanie | 338 comments Mod
first impressions

We are reading this month The First Wife: A Tale of Polygamy


message 2: by Candace (new)

Candace | 53 comments This is the first book I’ve read about polygamy and it is breaking my heart.


message 3: by Marie (new)

Marie (marieemonaghan) | 59 comments I agree, Candace, it’s brutal. But interesting how it depicts such strong moments of sisterhood amidst all the heartache. I did note that so far it has barely passed the Bechdel test despite obviously delving into some deeply feminist themes. Really glad to be reading it.


message 4: by Melanie (new)

Melanie | 338 comments Mod
Oh Marie, so interesting about the Bechdel test, I had not thought about it. It's quite something to read it, I admit. I find it interesting that despite the fact that they have to be super independent and self-sufficient, they all define themselves through their relationship with the men in their lives. It's almost as if we see them not through their eyes, but through the eyes of the world around them. They don't have an image of themselves at all.


message 5: by Isa (new)

Isa (isoliva) | 12 comments I read this book the 1st. time in 2002 as it came out in the original. I'm rereading the same old edition. I don't remember the story, but I remember that I liked it. Now I'm enjoying the humor, but as Melanie says, the women can only see them selves in relation to a man. And it is sometimes anoying.
I knew a woman that lived in a poligamic relationship. She was an independent woman, had studied in Europe, had a job. And she told, that the problem was the society, without a man she couldn't do many things and she would be 'punished'. A divorced woman didn't get qualified jobs, and so on. And she lived on a small island State, that didn't help. Another traditions, interrupted by colonialism, intercept with christianity, in Mozambique's case 20 years of colonial war and followed without interruption another 20 years of civil war.
I found also interesting the comparisons between the north and the south. The south was intensively colonised and christianised, the north wasn't so much and has much more Islamic influence.


message 6: by Melanie (new)

Melanie | 338 comments Mod
Isa wrote: "I read this book the 1st. time in 2002 as it came out in the original. I'm rereading the same old edition. I don't remember the story, but I remember that I liked it. Now I'm enjoying the humor, bu..."

Oh a re-read, that's interesting. And yes, colonialism has a lot to answer for.


message 7: by Britta (new)

Britta Böhler | 51 comments I'm still waiting for my copy of the book which I hope will arrive in time for me to at least start the book in August. LoL. It's shipped from the US and takes forever, thanx to Covid-19.


message 8: by Britta (last edited Aug 17, 2020 09:34AM) (new)

Britta Böhler | 51 comments I should complain on goodreads more often: The book arrived this morning. :-)


message 9: by Marie (new)

Marie (marieemonaghan) | 59 comments Mel, re: your point about them all defining themselves solely through their relationship with men - I find it weird how very absent all the (seventeen) children are in this book and how there is barely any reference to motherhood at all. All these women seem to find their primary purpose in pleasing this one guy (and really he seems like he is not all that). I can’t imagine what it would be like to grow up in a polygamous family such as this.


message 10: by Amelia (new)

Amelia (sophron) | 17 comments Is it possible to rename this discussion into "Mozambique August 2020"? Probably it's just me, but I have always difficulties to find the right monthly discussion.
And is there already one for September?
Sorry, but I'm struggling with the using of the goodreads app anyway. It's far from being user friendly.


message 11: by Melanie (new)

Melanie | 338 comments Mod
Amelia wrote: "Is it possible to rename this discussion into "Mozambique August 2020"? Probably it's just me, but I have always difficulties to find the right monthly discussion.
And is there already one for Sept..."


I always make sure that the current discussion thread is the top one under the general topics. That is displayed in this way on the iPhone goodreads app version. I have renamed it now as well. At the moment, the Argentina discussion thread for September is the top thread under the general topic thread.

I also always link the discussion thread in the message I send on Goodreads, so if in doubt, just click on that.

HTH.


message 12: by Amelia (new)

Amelia (sophron) | 17 comments Thanks, Mel! In my app the current one is never on the top! :(


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