The White Masai

The White Masai

Book - 2005
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The four-million-copy international bestseller of the incredible love story between a European woman and an African warrior

The White Masai combines adventure and the pursuit of passion in a page-turning story of two star-crossed lovers from vastly different backgrounds. Corinne, a European entrepreneur, meets Lketinga, a Samburu warrior, while on vacation in Mombasa on Kenya's glamorous coast.Despite language and cultural barriers, they embark on an impossible love affair. Corinne uproots her life to move to Africa--not the romantic Africa of popular culture, but the Africa of the Masai, in the middle of the isolated bush, where five-foot-tall huts made from cow dung serve as homes. Undaunted by wild animals, hunger, and bouts with tropical diseases, she tries to forge a life with Lketinga. But slowly the dream starts to crumble when she can no longer ignore the chasm between their two vastly different cultures.

A story that taps into our universal belief in the power of love, The White Masai is at once a hopelessly romantic love story, a gripping adventure yarn, and a compulsively good read.

Publisher: New York : Amistad, [2005]
Edition: First U.S. edition.
Copyright Date: ©2005
ISBN: 9780061131523
0061131520
Branch Call Number: 305.8965 H677
Characteristics: 307 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : color illustrations, color map ; 24 cm
Alternative Title: Weisse massai.

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j
JAGILES
Mar 16, 2015

Almost unbelievable as Corrine is a very strong character and is clearly under the influence of her Masai warrior. Battered wife syndrome? She does move away eventually but clearly still has feelings for this guy.

d
dijolly
Jul 16, 2012

This autobiography of a white woman who falls in love and lives with a Masai is very intriguing.

muvielover Nov 18, 2011

It's so interesting to read about what African life is like from a European perspective. I was amazed by the author's courage to try to make her marriage work and also to leave it. So much good came from her experiences. It's inspirational to see what can be accomplished if one only tries.

f
floy
Oct 11, 2011

I had a good friend once, a white nurse, who worked in several countries in Africa. She, like the writer of this memoir, fell instantly in love with an African and married him (and later divorced). So I was interested in this book and thought its international bestseller status verified its worth.

Well, I was sorely disappointed. I didn't make it very far into the book for three reasons:

1) The author falls in love with a stranger she knows absolutely nothing about and can barely communicate with because... he's beautiful. Arrgh.

2) Even before anything has happened between them, she has decided this man (Lketinga)will be her life and she's going to uproot her previous life and business and move to the African bush to be with him. Arrgh.

3) She was on vacation with her boyfriend when they met the Masai man and she writes that she expected her boyfriend would probably slug her for her infatuation with Lketinga. Then she writes "I deserve it." A woman thinks she deserves domestic violence? Arrgh. At this point, I stopped reading.

csbryant Apr 17, 2011

This book was amazing. I bought it while on holiday and intended to finish reading it on my plane ride home, but it did not last me that long. Having just spent eight months in Zambia, it was very interesting to read the entirely different experience of a white woman in Africa.

The author falls in love with a Masai warrior while on vacation with her boyfriend in Kenya. Really?! She experiences so many hardships while living in the bush with him as his wife, the least of which was a long bout of malaria. The cultural differences are amazing, beyond what you would even expect. It was extremely clear to me that this relationship was doomed early on. Unfortunately it took the author much longer to come to terms with this fact.

I feel like she went into this experience with almost an air of superiority. I mean, do you really think that you, a white European are going to be able to cope with living a Masai way of life? Don’t even think about trying to make him adapt to yours, because that definitely won’t work. But try she did, and work it didn’t. Eventually she came to terms with the simple fact that she could not adapt to the way of life. Well, she didn’t really try to adapt to their way of life, but whatever.

k
kowleen
Jun 21, 2010

While I have yet to read the book, I just finished watching the movie that was released in 2005. If the book is half as good as the movie, then I will be in tears for sure.

Edited July 2, 2010:

I finished reading this yesterday and it really is beautiful. Part of me is absolutely enthralled with the romance of the story while another part of me is completely flabbergasted by the naivety of the author. Overall, this book gave me warm fuzzies just thinking about how 2 people from very different worlds were able to fall in love.

s
Spillie
May 05, 2010

An interesting reflection on livings one's dreams. I suspect much detail was lost in translation. The author was far more sympathetic in the movie.

m
msfortier
Dec 09, 2009

I saw the movie first and was very taken with the story so I read her book afterwards.

The book is obviously has much more detail and is a bit 'manic' compared with the movie plot.

Corinne sticks to 'the facts' in her writing. She is not a particularly skilled writer and obviously a translation of any language always loses much self-expression.

But, I still enjoyed reading it. I don't believe she is naive and selfish, anymore than any 26 year old woman would be. She is driven by instinct and her story is believable. Many of us have made seemingly strange choices based on gut instinct. She thought it could work, and in hindsight it didn't. As with much of life's lessons.

I would advise readers to see the movie. Another good read is Jean M. Auel's books which describe how our ancestors lived 25,000 years ago. It is gives insight into tribal living which is not much different today.

b
BDLange
Oct 05, 2009

First off I found the translation of this book lacking and that took away from the story. I think Corinne is a very naive selfish and ignorant person. Oddly enough I really want to read the sequels to this story and find out if she behaves differently as she matured.

c
Cabby
Sep 09, 2008

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