The White Masai Book Review Summary

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The White Masai

This story of a relationship between a Masai warrior and a Swiss businesswoman will demonstrate a clash of cultures at its fullest. The author, Corinne Hofmann is a German entrepreneur from Switzerland who meets Lketinga, a Masai warrior while she vacations in Mombasa, Kenya's beautiful coast. She pursues this tall, handsome smooth black warrior a year later in 1987 and they begin a torrid love affair in an Africa which has never seen interracial dating let alone a white person.

Months later, Corinne decides to abandon her life in Switzerland and move to the bush in Africa with her Masai warrior. They lived in a five-foot tall hut made out of cow dung and had to walk miles just for water. Lketinga and Corinne encounter language barriers and cultural differences that they try to overcome with many struggles. The warrior paints his face daily, wears a loincloth, carries a spear, doesn't understand kissing, and drinks goat's blood. Corinne has to adapt to very few baths, thousands of flies, eating goat, living without a toilet, electricity, or running water, which she does admirably.
She had encountered many wild animals in the bush, caught malaria and endured hunger. It was then she decided to open up a small shop that sold maize and sugar to the locals.
This help to provide a few comforts for them, like a mattress and money to help Lketinga's mama out. Corinne bought a 4-wheel drive truck with the money she made from selling her business in Switzerland and that provided her and the locals with a ride to the city for medicine and goods. They married the following year in the bush. She and Lketinga fought many battles over female circumcision, which he totally believed in but she refused adamantly.

After an extremely hard pregnancy a year later, more bouts of malaria and an increasingly jealous husband, Corrine's life starts to crumble. She worries about her baby daughter growing up in such circumstances. Corinne did all the business deals with her customers since she knew had to count money and do the accounting but was accused of having affairs with those men. Slowly their business was going under due to the warrior's insecurities. He talked about getting a second wife and started to get physically controlling with Corinne. She now started to see that in order to survive she must return to Switzerland to get proper nutrition and a safer life for herself and her baby daughter.

The review of this Book prepared by Susan D. Minkalis

Laura WIndsor on 3/6/2016 8:47:11 AM says: I knew about this international best seller, but had never read it. I have worked and travelled extensively in East Africa and so thought this would be a good read. How disappointed I was. First off, the book is not especially well written, although I do know the English version I read, was a translation from German. Perhaps the language flowed better in the original language. I thought it took Hofmann too many pages to say what she wanted to say. But most of all I was struck with how immature and naive Hofmann was. Although a woman in her late 20s, she was like a love sick teenager, obsessed with a man from a totally different world. It took her so long to figure out that living in modern, clean, organized and efficient Switzerland was where she belonged. To think she would be happy in a mud hut, with no conveniences, married to a man, who was not educated, did not have a job and who was very strong in his Masai ways, was so naive. I've worked amongst the Masai and they are very proud and dignified people, but their ways are not accepting of the ways of most other parts of the world. To me, Hofmann was a pathetic individual. She almost stalked her Masai warrior determined to make him hers and change him. It didn't work from day one. Communication was not possible with a lack of a common language, and such different values and priorities. She was doomed from the beginning and I am sorry to say, she asked for many of her problems. Love is wonderful but it does not conquer all. Love also should be reciprocal and in this case Hofmann gave so much and received so little...the relationship was slated for failure fro the start.

Jean Carnegie on 7/12/2014 6:43:22 AM says: The nitty gritty honestness of the book, had me hooked from the beginning. It was a liaison bound to fail, if only she could have seen that from the first. East is east and west is west is an old saying! Where does Africa fall in to the equation? A disaster bound to happen. I can only praise her braveness. I could not have stuck it out even for one week.

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Chapter Analysis of The White Masai

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Plot & Themes

Romance    -   Yes Kind of romance:    -   interracial loving !! Ethnic/Relig. of subject (inside)    -   African Black If this is a culture clash:    -   visiting a different culture Ethnic/regional/gender    -   Yes Period of greatest activity?    -   1950+

Subject of Biography

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   small businessman Ethnicity    -   White Nationality    -   German


Africa    -   Yes Kind of Africa:    -   Black Africa Century:    -   1980's-Present

Writing Style

Book makes you feel?    -   challenged Pictures/Illustrations?    -   Some in color 1-5 How much dialogue in bio?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog How much of bio focuses on most famous period of life?    -   26-50% of book

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