Our Lady of the Nile by Scholastique Mukasonga

Our Lady of the Nile

Scholastique Mukasonga

Set in a young ladies' finishing school in the remote hills of Rwanda, increasing racial tensions reflect national attitudes. Despite the seriousness of the subject matter, there are many moments of humour. Girls will be girls, and I was charmed by them and by this remarkable novel.


The first two Frenchmen were delivered to the lycee by a car from their embassy ....  Naturally, they wore no ties, and one of them, rather worryingly, had a guitar among his belongings, but they seemed reasonably polite, shy, and slightly dazed ....

The third Frenchman did indeed arrive the next morning, in the back of a Toyota. He kindly helped the women with babies on their backs to climb out .... The girls, or at least those sitting closest to the windows, saw a very tall, very skinny young man ... dressed in jeans that had lost all their color, and a short sleeved khaki shirt that hung open across his hairy chest. But what really startled those girls ... was his hair, his thick, blond, wavy hair which hung halfway down his back.

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