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Reviews of Bride Price

Bride Price

A selection of reviews appear below, for more reader's comments on Bride price go to amazon.co.uk

"It's like in days gone by. Only the "Days Gone By" are not that long gone. This is Zaire (later the Republic of Congo) in the 1970's. The young, white British Ian Mathie (27 at the time) returns to the land of his birth. Mathie is a white African. Born and bred in Africa and then sent, of course, to England to school where he resumed life as an Englishman. After his studies, Mathie knew about water engineering and so was sent back to Africa by his employers to teach villagers how to filter spring water and make it clean to drink. He sets up housekeeping in a village. And then the fun begins. Ceremonies of initiation. An adopted orphan daughter. Learning the language of the people as well as the impenetrable language of the unspeakably dense forest everywhere around him. An evil, powerful old man barges into his life and demands his 13 year old daughter in marriage. Custom dictates Mathie set a price on the bride. The evil man is rich, arrogant and ruthless. Never will Mathie give his daughter to this malevolent person. But by tradition he is bound to come up with a suitable price. How he works it all out is a treat to read. The writing is sensitive yet tough - just like the guy who wrote it, I assume. No slouch. Read this book. And then get Mathie's other African memoirs. They are all spectacular make gripping, entertaining and informative reading.

Suzanne White, Author

"Thank you, Ian Mathie, for returning me to Zaire, a place I fell in love with well before I ever visited there. Your experiences make true the saying that real life is stranger than fiction. I found your story compelling and heartwarming, despite the tragic tale that has subsequently been played out in that part of the world. Sorry, 'playing' is the wrong word because there is nothing pleasant about what has, and is, happening in Central Africa.

I can only say that your part in the lives of those you encountered has been generous and loving. You walked lightly within their culture while bringing relief in ways that must surely help. Your portrayal of their stories is well written and sensitive. I won't spoil the reading for others by talking about the content of Bride Price, but I recommend this book to anyone with a heart.

Well done, and I hope you continue to share your life experiences with us."

Paula Boer

"A wonderfully evocative account of a lost time in Africa before political, genocidal maelstroms reframed the way the continent is perceived. Writing with great sensitivity and authenticity, Mathie enriches our understanding not just of the people but of the human spirit that thrives there."

Daily Telegraph's former Africa bureau chief and best selling author of 'Blood River' and 'Chasing the Devil', Tim Butcher

"I read it in a single sitting; the issues it raised overwhelming my thoughts for the next couple of days. In terms of its overall flavour, quality and impact value, I'd bracket it with the classic 'Walkabout' by James Vance Marshall."

Trish Simpson-Davis, The Bookbag

"This is narrative non-fiction at its best: personal experience told in a self-effacing way, a way that brings to life a Zaire during President Mobutu's reign. A Zaire whose village life thrums with vibrant, colourful and very meaningful life: rituals, usage and customs to be marvelled at for their logical simplicity, for their human complexity."

Rosanne Dingli, Author

"Ian's easy, fluid, conversational style of writing is warm and endearing and will draw you in until you can hear, smell, taste, feel and sense as well as see the world in which he lived and worked...I felt that I knew these people. I cared about their struggles, rejoiced in their triumphs and even lost sleep pondering the outcome of their lives."

Wendy Reis, Editor and Proofreader

"A truly evocative account of the culture of the forest people of what is now DR Congo. Having worked around Africa, including DR Congo, i could visualise the colours and detail of the people as they were so vividly described. A thrilling insight into what so few people are now able to experience; Africa as it was and untouched by the modern trappings of today. I look forward to reading man in a mud hut."


"In this book Ian Mathie offers detailed observations of village life in the manner of an anthropologist which are described with lyrical beauty and insight. Yet at the same time this documentary record of his actual experiences as a young agricultural officer reads like a novel - a difficult combination which he achieves with ease. The story is fascinating and at times unfolds dramatically like a thriller. I look forward to reading the other three books in his series of African memoirs."

Gerard G Sullivan, Author

"This true story is told in way that compares with the most well-crafted fiction. I stayed up late reading this for three nights, and went on to read his book of excellent short stories, The Man of Passage."

Linda Cash

"This book is beautifully written with great sensitivity and authenticity. I literally could not put it down. I read it straight through one afternoon in four hours. Especially if you have any interest in Africa, it is a must read."

Boyd Lemon, Author

"This has as many thrills as many a fictional book, but this is real life. Ian knows Africa from the inside and this account of his time working and living in the forests of Zaire is full event. It is also full of compassion as he learns the language and is able to interact with the tribe with whom he has chosen to live. Delegated by the villagers to be foster father to a teenage girl, he is also faced with handling negotiations with an unpleasant suitor who he does not consider appropriate. The results are rivetting and, in the end, very unexpected. I look forward to Ian's next book in this excellent series."

Sylvie Nickels, Author

"I have just finished reading " Bride Price " and once I had started I couldn't put it down! The surroundings, characters and customs came alive and I was transported from Warwickshire to a small village in Zaire. I was totally fascinated by this real story and delighted by the twist in the final pages! Read it and see!"

Susie Jones

"From the very first page my attention was captured by this very honest account of the experiences of the author who was very much involved in the day to day life of the people involved. The detailed descriptions of the characters, environment and events brought the story to life. It is a touching and moving account made more poignant by the fact that we don't know what happened in the following years for Abele. I look forward to reading the rest of the books in the series."

C E Piper

General sales enquiries: GTPR Ltd, (+44) 1295 770207, or e-mail: ian@mud-hut.co.uk