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Three Somali Women

I haven’t been reading nearly as much as I’d like to, but I managed to finish one last book in the month of February: Nadifa Mohamed‘s second book, The Orchard of Lost Souls.

Unlike Edward Albee’s play Three Tall Women, the three women whose stories are explored in The Orchard of Lost Souls aren’t three incarnations of the same women; however, like in Albee’s play, they are three women in different stages of life. First, Dipo is an orphaned street child looking for direction; Filsan, a general’s daughter who has followed dutifully in her father’s footsteps only to discover how her male peers truly see her; and Kawsar, an elderly widow whose one act of rebellion incites the action of the entire novel.

Like her previous novel, Black Mamba Boy, Mohamed’s prose is full of local color and flavor, even though it doesn’t travel nearly as far geographically, with the characters never leaving metropolitan Hargeisa in Somalia.