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Monique and the Mango Rains

An Extraordinary Story of Friendship in a Midwife's House in Mali


Monique Dembele saves lives and dispenses hope in a place where childbirth is a life-and-death matter. Her unquenchable passion to improve the lot of the women and children in her West African village is matched by her buoyant humour in the face of unhappy marriage and backbreaking work. This is the deeply compelling story of the rare friendship between a young development volunteer and this midwife who defies tradition and becomes - too early in her own life - a legend.

Kris Holloway served as a development volunteer in Mali, West Africa, from 1989 to 1991. She holds a master's degree in public health and currently works for an overseas study organisation based in the USA. This is her first book, proceeds from which help to support a rural health clinic, Cabinet de Soins Monique, founded in Monique's memory.

  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications (May 5, 2011)
  • Length: 328 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781851688890

“Poignant and powerful.” Starred review

– Kirkus Reviews

“Achingly real.” Editorial board favourite

– Boston Globe

“There are many beautiful books by Westerners about living in Africa…. The best ones put the readers in the middle of unfamiliar terrain and make them smell it and hear it. This is one of those books.”

– Minneapolis Star Tribune

"I shed several tears while reading this book. Monique and the Mango Rains is a true story that rides the ebb and flow of womanhood in Mali. It also sparks inspiration that differences can be made, and are made, when the right ingredients are combined."

– Midwives Magazine

"Holloway has a fresh and sensitive way of relating events… what she sees, hears, what people say, what she learns and the impact of the different seasons…. The postscript describes [her and her husband's] return to Mali in 1999 and again in 2007. They continue to support Clinique Monique in the nearby village of Kouri. You could, too." Mmegi (Botswana)

– Mmegionline

“Midwives see the heights and depths, the ecstasy and tragedy of life… A book of faith, hope, courage and, above all, love.”

– Jennifer Worth

"Uplifting, life-affirming, and moving"

– Sarah Brown - President of PiggyBankKids and Global Patron of the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Mot

"Mesmerising in its tender portrayal of a woman supporting other women against the odds. This is an elegy to female courage, both humorous and tragic. You can't put this book down."

– Monique Roffey - Monique Roffey, bestselling author of The White Woman on the Green Bicycle