Since 1997, you’ve been coming to to discuss everything from Stephen King to writing to Harry Potter. You’ve made our site more than a place to discover your next book: you’ve made it a community. But like all things internet, is growing and changing. We've said goodbye to our community message boards—but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be a place for adventurous readers to connect and discover.

Now, you can explore the most exciting new titles (and remember the classics) at the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. Check out conversations with authors like Jeff VanderMeer and Gary Shteyngart at the B&N Review, and browse write-ups of the best in literary fiction. Come to our Facebook page to weigh in on what it means to be a book nerd. Browse digital deals on the NOOK blog, tweet about books with us,or self-publish your latest novella with NOOK Press. And for those of you looking for support for your NOOK, the NOOK Support Forums will still be here.

We will continue to provide you with books that make you turn pages well past midnight, discover new worlds, and reunite with old friends. And we hope that you’ll continue to tell us how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what books mean to you.

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 968
Registered: ‎09-24-2006
0 Kudos

Early Chapters: Different Backgrounds

Kris and Monique grew to be very close friends, yet they came from radically different backgrounds and faced many barriers (racial, language, cultural, educational).

What do you think makes these rare connections possible?

Reply to this message to discuss any of these topics. Or start your own new topic by clicking "New Message."

Note: This discussion refers to topics through Chapter 6, "Cutting." Some readers of this thread may not have finished the book. If you are referring to events that occur after Chapter 6, please use "Spoiler Warning" in the subject line of your post. Thanks!

New User
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎05-02-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Early Chapters: Different Backgrounds

First, let me say I loved the book and I thank Kris for telling Monique's story. One of the things that really struck me about this story was how the women in Monique's village face many of the same issues that women in our society face - fertility/infertility, struggles to keep our children healthy and safe, etc. These common interests and concerns seem to transcend cultural and language barriers. My question for Kris is: do you think having children yourself changed your perspectives about Monique's situation?

Kristen in Sacramento
Posts: 39
Registered: ‎04-01-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Early Chapters: Different Backgrounds

Hi Kristen,

You're right - there is so much that is common to the experience of being a woman, regardless of race, culture, language or class.

And yes, having kids certainly changed my perspective. I admire Monique's strengths even more. I understand why she was ferocious in demanding her children go to school. Why she ensured that women be allowed to take birth control and have kids when they wanted them. Why she worked day and night to help bring babies in the world in as safe a way as possible. As a mother now, I can imagine (in a morbid worst-case scenario kind of way) what it would feel like to lose a child. It would be earth-shattering. As you know from reading the book, almost two in five children die before they reach the age of five in Mali. I don't think I knew the depth of love Monique had for the children and mothers in her care, or the depth of suffering she felt when she lost one of them. She kept at it, and I have deep respect for that.

Do you have kids? And, if so, do you think it affected how you experienced Monique's world?


Learn more about Monique and the Mango Rains.
Users Online
Currently online: 56 members 331 guests
Please welcome our newest community members: