Monday 27 June 2016

Beyond the Horizon, 1995, Amma Darko ****

Beyond the Horizon, in my opinion, is a disturbing read though a necessary one. I think it should be titled The downfall of Mara, because she kept on falling from the very beginning of the story to the end as she is seen as a victim of her circumstances. She tells her devastating story. Married off to Akobi who  physically and sexually abuses her from day one, the abuse and exploitation continues as they move to Germany.
A provocative and a sad read, indeed. I wonder why Amma Darko portrays Mara as helpless and worthless, I also wonder why Mara follows Akobi to Germany if he is not treating her any better in Ghana, why should he be different in Germany? Perhaps, Amma wants to shed light on the role of women and the result of their social construction in rural Ghana? Trying to show the damages traditionalized male chauvinism does to women. For instance Mara thinks her marriage is
worth more than her life, that it is her duty to be her husband source of comfort that is being his slave in all sense of the word. She never complains, how can she? When she has witnessed her father do the same to her mother and no body complains at all, not even her mother.
No attempt to change her twist of fate, she believes it is her destiny and just sails along. On the other hand, Akobi knows the power his culture has given him over his wife of which he took fully advantage of in all possible of ways.

Maybe, it is high time all women know that the positive reflection of their identity is neither based on marriage nor child bearing.

In addition, this novel also narrates on the way many women are deceived into coming to the western world only to be taken advantage of.

I love Amma Darko's writing style, clear and straightforward, this is actually her first novel I have read so far and I look forward to reading more of her works, it takes courage to narrate like this. If you have read On Black Sister's Street by Chika Unigwe and liked it, you will most probably enjoy Beyond the Horizon.

I highly recommend, another add to my African Writers Series Challenge.

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  1. This book and author are seriously UNDERRATED. I'm glad you enjoyed it and appreciated the women issues she addresses. This is truly an African Writers Series classic :)

    1. Thanks to you! I bought it because of your rexommendation I would not have.

  2. Great review, Mary. Truly issues are issues that a lot of women grapple with even with all the enlightenment of feminism.

    You should read Faithless by the same author. It is powerful and gripping. You can check my blog for a review of it.

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