Place of Reeds by Caitlin Davies
Caitlin Davies was in her twenties and studying in America when she met and fell in love with the enigmatic Ron. When Ron returns to his home in Botswana, Caitlin secures a teaching job in his village and the two begin their life together. Eager to absorb all that Setswanan culture has to offer, Caitlin endures the privations of poverty and the rigidity of the matriarchal family structure; she makes her home in Africa. But the Botswana of the 1990s is changing. AIDS and urbanization have taken their toll, violence is on the increase. When Caitlin is raped and stabbed, with her child in her arms, the family closes rank and she is ostracized by the very people she had grown to love; blamed for - and shamed by - a terrible act of violence visited upon her. This is a story about the clash of cultures, the inflexibility of beliefs and traditions. A story about women; about Caitlin and her daughter Ruby, and about Eliah and Madintwa - Ron's formidable mother and grandmother. Most of all. it's a story about one woman's courage, resiliance - and ultimately survival.