Gift an article

REVIEW | A startling novel about being a girl at school in Rwanda

accreditation
Share your Subscriber Article
You have 5 articles to share every month. Send this story to a friend!
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
loading...
Loading, please wait...
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Our Lady of the Nile by Scholastique Mukasonga.
Our Lady of the Nile by Scholastique Mukasonga.

BOOK: Our Lady of the Nile by Scholastique Mukasonga (Jacana)

In this highly unusual and fast-moving novel (longlisted for the Republic of Consciousness Prize for Small Presses), Scholastique Mukasonga shows us how much is invested in our daughters. The setting is a school for the daughters of the elite in Rwanda. These young women are the pride and joy of their families, and include not only the majority Hutu but also a small quota of Tutsi girls. So much depends on how they grow up, who they marry, or just who they go to bed with. One or two of these daughters show a real streak of independence and leadership. 

Our Lady of the Nile is a Catholic establishment, situated high in the mountains close to the source of the Nile River. At the start of the school year the villagers gather to watch the learners arrive: "There were Mercedeses, Range Rovers and enormous military jeeps, their impatient drivers hooting and waving...as they tried to overtake taxis, pickups and minibuses..." And the reader is soon treated to the spectacle of the annual pilgrimage to the statue of Our Lady of the Nile (a Rwandan woman), installed above the spring that flows out of the mountain.

Read this for free
Get 14 days free to read all our investigative and in-depth journalism. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed.
Subscribe
Already a subscriber? Sign in