Thursday, June 30

Book Review: The Witch Doctor's Wife

Title: The Witch Doctor's Wife

Author: Tamar Myers

Pages: 307

Summary: The Congo becomes to young Amanda Brown in 1958, as she follows her missionary calling to the mysterious "dark continent" far from her South Carolina home. But her enthusiasm cannot cushion her from the shock of a very foreign culture - where competing missionaries are as plentiful as flies, and oppressive European overloads are busy stripping the land of its most valuable resource: diamonds.

Little by little, Amanda is drawn into the lives of the villagers in tiny Belle Vue - and she is touched by the plight of the local witch doctor, a man known as Their Death, who has forced to take a second job as a yardman to support his two wives. But when First Wife stumbles upon an impossibly enormous uncut gem, events are set in motion that threaten to devastate the lives of these people Amanda has come to admire and love - events that could lead to nothing less than murder.

Richly evocative, written with warmth and humor, and based on the author's own experiences, Tama Myers's The Witch Doctor's Wife is an unforgettable African journey with a spellbinding mystery at its heart.

My Rating: 7/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: I enjoyed the book and its peak into the cultural background and everyday life of the Congo as well as reading about the struggles the characters had to go through. But I found the characterization, and how the hole story, and the "mystery" behind the large uncut gem, fell a little short for me - things didn't come together like I'd have liked.

I really enjoyed the facts about the Congo at the beginning of the chapters, and sometimes I found them relevant to what was happening, almost like a metaphor - I think this was one of the best aspects of the book. It made it interesting and helped explore the setting. I also enjoyed, the overall idea behind the story, but I was hoping for a look at the more severe consequences of the diamond trade, how everything played out - and at times, how it was exaggerated just didn't fit together, I didn't see the justification of the characters actions, and for certain events, and how the characters were involved, didn't work for me. It felt like there was no development to get them for point A to B, and it felt that there were individuals pieces of a story, but they weren't pulled together properly.

The writing was good, it kept my interest, and it brought the life of the Congo into my mind, I'd likely give the author another try.

Would I recommend it to read: Yes, I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would, but I think there are a lot of readers out there who'd enjoy the book.

What to read next: The book is part of a series, so I'd start there.

Challenges: 11 in 11, 100+ Challenge, 2011 Countdown Challenge, A - Z Challenge, Global Reading Challenge, Spring Reading Thing


  1. This book sounds rather interesting to me for some reason. I imagine that there are some plot points that left a little to be desired, but enough of what you wrote about really piques my interest. I am going to have to see if I can check this one out at some point. Thanks for sharing this great review with us, Jules!

  2. Zibilee - Ooo! I hope you get a chance, you may really enjoy the book. Maybe more than I did. It does have good qualities, and it lets you explore a foreign land.