The Fall of Saints is Wanjiku wa Ngũgĩ’s debut novel, published in 2014 and is about a seemingly perfect life turned upside down by the darkest of secrets between a married couple.
Our protagonist, Mugure, is living what appears the “American dream” when she stumbles upon a piece of information that threatens to undo everything that she has built; especially her family. She could choose to ignore all signs of danger, but her bored-house-wife curiosity gets the better of her and she leaves for her homeland, Kenya, on a fact-finding mission that both brings everything into evil focus and blurs out everything she thought she knew about everyone around her.
The book is written in quite an accessible way. It’s almost like someone is actually orally telling you this sometimes unbelievable story. It’s well connected, almost like you’re turning a ball of yarn reading it.
It tackles moral and socio-political issues that plagues modern day Kenya and reminds us that nothing is ever as it seems. Mugure overcomes so much emotion in a short period of time to get to the bottom of some very heavy issues; these include parent-child issues, child trafficking, and the face of religion.
I feel the book could have been stretched out a bit more. There’s too much that happens too quickly, I guess in an attempt for the “nail-biting” effect; it reads rushed, more than fast-paced.
I would recommend this book to thriller lovers. It’s quite an adventurous story.
Out of ten, I rate The Fall of Saints a 7, taking away the 3 solely for how rushedly the story is told, leaving out what could have been juicy details.
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