Monday, July 16, 2012

Changes by Ama Ata Aidoo

I enjoyed reading this book written with a strong, African woman's voice. It was refreshing to hear a woman's point of view and at the same time read about a totally different culture and the bridging between the old Customs and the New.
We get to hear a different 'take' on the West's obsession with contraceptives and obesity for the Third World-- particularly as Melinda Gates has been in the News recently, spearheading a campaign for the former - in essence I agree with Ms Gates but it was timely to hear another point of view and the whole politics of control.
I loved the point of view of marriage in Ch 14: 'why do you think they took so much trouble with a girl on her wedding day?'  'She was made much of, because that whole ceremony was a funeral of the self that could have been.' I thought that took away the patriarchal sting of transferring the woman as property from her father to her husband!
The writer notes the backlash to an independent- thinking woman by society and to be honest I myself couldn't figure out why she couldn't come to some agreement with her traditional husband as she feels the sting of Loneliness at the Holiday season when she can't hide behind her work - I was also a bit prejudiced against her as she gave up her child and seemed a rather cold sort of mother. The opposing character of her friend I didn't feel was so well developed and we never get to hear what's bothering her and she settles for a Traditional role. However, to the Bookclub's relief - it is a short book - 165 pages

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