Book Review: Tracking the Scent of My Mother

About the book (Good Reads)

 ‘My father wooed my mother in a 1200 Datsun pick-up sold so soon afterwards that it must have felt to her like a false promise. But she did not complain about that, or the fact that he was already married. Senior-mother, a stout and loudly religious woman, had borne him five daughters – Mercy, Charity, Faith, Hope and Grace.’ Startling phrases and dark humor in tale about an incest survivor.


Nominated for the 2006 Caine Prize, Tracking the Scent of My Mother is a short, hilarious, easy read written by Muthoni Garland. I read this book in one sitting. I loved how she vividly described the surrounding environments of the protagonist in her narrative such that as a reader you felt as if you were experiencing life with her.

The book is a story of a young girl whose mother is her greatest influence. She struggles to find her and in the quest to find her she encounters a myriad of challenges and barriers. Some of the themes that stood out for me in this short and coming of age read were sexual violence and abuse.

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