The story of Kauna known as The Purple Violet of Oshaantu, whose story was narrated through the voice of her best friend Mee Ali.
We called her the purple violet of Oshaantu. She was so delicate and she came when these flowers were in bloom.
Kauna's husband, Shange, is hot tempered and an abuser, he punches his wife like a punchbag and once punched their unborn child out of her womb. More than once he almost sent her to her grave. Upon that he has a mistress down town that the whole villagers were aware of.
This is a novel that I really enjoyed, I like the fact that voice was given to women living in a remote village in Namibia. Also, while reading, I kept on asking myself why anybody would want to stay with a person who uses them as their punchbag? Then I realised that it is a universal problem. Even in the country where I live, according to statistics, around the average of three women per month die in the hands of their partner. Sometimes, it is just PRESSURE, pressure to stay married. SHAME, shame of what people might say (as if your life was their business), shame to be branded a failure, shame to be stigmatised. LACK OF SUPPORT, which could be from family, community, to economic support.
Furthermore, it also annoyed me how some women blamed and slammed Kauna for her husband's behaviour. She was harshly criticised by her fellow women. Even her own mother did not want her to leave her marital home, alleging that she will tarnish the family's reputation. Her father once told her:
Child, don't wait until it is too late, I know your mother wants your marriage to work. But I have seen women who have died in this thing called marriage, or have done things you don't want to hear about. I don't want it to get to this. Don't think of me, or my work. You must do what you think is best for you.
Also, instead of leaving her husband, she started wishing her best friend Mee Ali (the narrator) harm, because she simply thinks that she too supposed to be punched by her husband (isn't that silly?) I love what Mee Ali told her:
Michael (Mee Ali's husband) is a good man, but this has nothing to do with me.... Shange was the man he was and again it had nothing to do with you. Don't take it personally. He would have treated any woman he married in the same way. ... he would have treated me like that too, but not just for so long.... (I would have left him) I want to be a wife, not a punching bag.
This is a novel that has been in my TBR list for a long time, I have so much looked forward to reading it. Nevertheless, I cannot say it was an amazing read (though, I would have loved to), some passages simply did not keep me on the edge of my seat. However, I must say it is an interesting read and I really like it. My first read from Namibia. I highly recommend.