A Study in Contrast: A Review of Stanley Gazemba’s Forbidden Fruit

A well-written review via Africa in Words!

AiW Guest: Amanda Anderson

Stanley Gazemba’s 2002 novel Forbidden Fruit, previously published in Kenya as The Stone Hills of Maragoli, presents a tightly woven tapestry of human experience. The narrative follows Ombima, a poor man from the small village of Ivona, Kenya struggling to meet his basic needs.  In fact, it is his desire and need to feed himself and his family that sets him on a path that will lead to his family’s destruction. Ombima faces loss, betrayal, joy, and suffering.  The threads of Ombima’s life begin to unravel as he becomes part of something that he cannot control—a love affair that will pull the tightly knit community of Ivona apart. His lover, his employer, his wife, his friends, and even his children suffer as a result of his choice. Finally, at the end of the novel, Ombima is offered a fine filament of hope that brings…

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