A Woman With a Voice

 

Meggie Jepchumba, a physician from Kenya, comes to Saguaro State University for graduate training. She fights the myths about Africa, helping others understand African culture's positive aspects and correct the myths that portray Africa as a disease-ridden, poverty-stricken, and corrupt "shit-hole" country. She meets Liam, an American physician, and they fall in love. The course of their relationship snags when a family friend of Liam's, Isabel, seduces Liam and tries to thwart the relationship between Liam and Meggie. Liam is attracted to Meggie because she understands her heritage, something that Liam wants to do. Meggie describes her heritage stemming from two antagonistic generations battling between a traditional Tugen culture and a Christian heritage. Meggie helps Liam learn about his heritage, and this knowledge cements their relationship.


Meggie's grandma was loved by two men-one from each culture; George was a Christian, and his missionary group would not allow him to marry her unless she became a Christian. Her other suitor, Kiptarbei, was a traditionalist, but she initially shunned him. Because Kiptarbei put his spear in her homestead (indicating that he was her man), George got into a battle over her love. In the course of the fight, Kiptarbei shot George with a poison arrow. Remorseful for what he did, Kiptarbei found anti-venom treatment and saved George's life. Eventually, George married a Christian and had a son; Kiptarbei married the woman both men wanted, and they had a daughter. In the second generation, their daughter and George's son met and married. Meggie, their daughter, tells their story. Excited by Meggie's fascinating familial history, Liam explores his ancestry, including his grandpa's who was a foundling.

 

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