The Wife's Tale

[The Wife's Tale]
Harper Collins
Year of publication: 
Moral Assessment: 
Type: Thought
Nothing inappropriate.
Requires prior general knowledge of the subject.
Readers with knowledgeable about the subject matter.
Contains doctrinal errors of some importance.
Whilst not being explicitly against the faith, the general approach or its main points are ambiguous or opposed to the Church’s teachings.
Incompatible with Catholic doctrine.
Transmits values: 
Sexual content: 
Violent content: 
Vulgar language: 
Ideas that contradict Church teaching: 
The rating of the different categories comes from the opinion of Delibris' collaborators

This is a thoroughly absorbing and lyrical biography of the author’s grandmother, born in Ethiopia in 1916 and destined to live through the turbulent changes experienced by this country as it emerged from a theocratic feudalism to a war-ravaged, communist nation. From childhood to child-bride to mother to widow to grandmother, this woman’s story captivates. The prose is restrained and yet lyrical, filling the reader’s imagination with the scents, sounds and searing heat of a country stamped with an enduring culture many centuries old. This book is for those who love words and a real story.

The dominant religion of the country during the period being described is Christianity but the Ethiopian Orthodox Church has become enmeshed with the ruling dynasty and some of the practices described in the book will strike the reader as more pagan than Christian. As revealed in the afterword penned by the author herself, her own grasp of Christianity has been gleaned from sources inclined to criticise that faith. This does not affect the book itself, however, which could be read and enjoyed by anyone interested in social history.

Author: Orla Halpenny, Ireland, 2019