Review: The White Masai

May 24, 2011 Whitney Review 3 Comments

Review: The White MasaiThe White Masai by Corinne Hofmann
Published by Amistad on October 10, 2006
Genres: Memoir
Source: Library

The four-million-copy international bestseller of the incredible love story between a European woman and an African warrior

The White Masai combines adventure and the pursuit of passion in a page-turning story of two star-crossed lovers from vastly different backgrounds. Corinne, a European entrepreneur, meets Lketinga, a Samburu warrior, while on vacation in Mombasa on Kenya's glamorous coast.Despite language and cultural barriers, they embark on an impossible love affair. Corinne uproots her life to move to Africa—not the romantic Africa of popular culture, but the Africa of the Masai, in the middle of the isolated bush, where five-foot-tall huts made from cow dung serve as homes. Undaunted by wild animals, hunger, and bouts with tropical diseases, she tries to forge a life with Lketinga. But slowly the dream starts to crumble when she can no longer ignore the chasm between their two vastly different cultures.

A story that taps into our universal belief in the power of love, The White Masai is at once a hopelessly romantic love story, a gripping adventure yarn, and a compulsively good read.

While on Safari with her then boyfriend, Corinne Hofmann glimpses a  Samburu Warrior, Lketinga and it is love at first sight.  She drops everything in her home of Switzerland and spends the next several months stocking him around Kenya.  Despite a drastic change in living conditions and neither speaking the same language, using broken English and sign language marry and between various out breaks of malaria have a daughter.  After her birth Lketinga, becomes extremely jealous   accusing her of sleeping with every man she comes in contact  with (which wouldn’t be too hard as the tribe has an in and out rule).  Eventually, after denying the paternity of their daughter which has a “Maury  Show” vibe to it, has enough and flees with her child back to Switzerland.

Starting at page one I could not get into the novel thinking Corinne Hofmann was the biggest fool to drop everything to move to a country for a man she could barely speak to, plus living in a house made of dung. I realize that’s just the way it is in Africa and the culture aspect was interesting but I had a difficult time getting over how ridiculous and rash this woman was to enjoy the book.




3 responses to “Review: The White Masai

  1. Too bad you didn't like the book. I thought Corinne foolish, too, and I can't understand her dropping everything either. She's also shallow, falling for the appearance. I did read the book through, though, as it did contains some interesting views of the Masai and their culture.

  2. I haven't read this, and probably won't, but I'd have to agree with your assessment about what a foolish choice it was to make. Nevertheless, I would be interested to learn about the Masai. I see you're reading Order of the Phoenix. Hope you post about it. I read your post on Goblet of Fire, for some reason my least favorite of the series (although I still liked it…it's Harry Potter, after all!)

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