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Blessed Are The Solomons

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Length: 452 pages7 hours

Summary

The Gatuas live their lives at the very bottom. Gatua, a former mau mau detainee is a dour character who is lame from the experiences of detention. His wife Wahu is a deeply religious woman, small and wiry from laboring incessantly on the Solomons' farm
The Solomons, on the other hand are a wealthy family.
The story begins with a quarrel between two boys, Jimmy and Joseph, a Gatua and a Solomon which forces Jimmy to run from home.
His sister Wanja drops out of school and joins her increasingly mentally unbalanced mother laboring on the Solomons’ farm. It is here that desperate, she gets seduced into sex and pregnancy by Joseph.
Building on the foundations of wealth and political networks his father, Solomon had acquired as a colonial chief, Michael has become a powerful government minister.
To protect their political and church positions from scandal the Solomons refuse to acknowledge Wanja then humiliate her further by giving her money to go away somewhere and have an abortion.
Angry, she runs off to Nairobi to have her baby, vowing to hit back at the Solomons some day.
Jimmy returns to find his mother mad and his father a cripple. That same night a fire burns down his parents hut and both die in it.
His parents had been kind of strange. While Wahu had chosen to live her life in her own secret world of fervent prayers and hymns, Gatua had lived his in dubious silence and resignation. And because neither of them ever spoke about themselves Jimmi and Wanja know very little about the past of their parents’ unhappy lives.
But as he stands against the mud wall of his hut, his mind abuzz with questions about them, Kingei, his father’s old friend comes and tells him:
“By the end of 1952, your father Gatua was a prosperous man and Wahu was the happiest of women.”
From here on the story runs in two strands: The real-time story moves forward to trace the fortunes of the two families to the early nineties during the tumultuous clamor for political reform.
Jimmy goes to Nairobi in search of his sister Wanja, is enticed into a middle-aged woman’s bed, and finally falls victim of a ruthless, mean drug dealer who lets him go to prison. When he comes . .

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