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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

However Long the Night by Aimee Molloy

However Long the Night: Molly Melching's Journey to Help Millions of African Women and Girls Triumph  by Aimee Molloy
HarperOne
ISBN: 978-0062132765
Published April 30, 2013
Hardcover, 272 pages

Wow, this book was such an inspirational read! There were moments when I was in tears and others when I wanted to whoop for joy. It is a book that every person, but especially women, can appreciate because it is the amazing story of Molly Melching, a fearless woman, known as one of the "most powerful women in women's rights". Through education and respect, she led African women to stand up for their rights and helped them celebrate their freedom.

However Long the Night reads like a novel. It is the story of Molly, an American university student who went to Senegal in 1974 and decided to stay, loving the people of that land, their culture and their warmth. Feeling at home in a country so unlike her own, Molly saw the needs of the people. With the help of several Senegalese scholars, she opened a children's center, “where she used elements of traditional African culture to reach out-of-school children in their native Wolof language.”

After experiencing life in remote African villages, Molly founded Tostan, an organization that promoted learning through education based on human rights, where villagers learned to read and write, and how to take care of themselves and their families through proper health care. This is where the topic of female genital cutting came up, a topic known as “the tradition” and never discussed, seen as a loving act to prepare a daughter for marriage.

By empowering women through discussion and human rights education, Molly helped revolutionize how Africans viewed their traditions without ever judging or criticizing. Her organization succeeded where many others failed. What touched me the most is how she involved the religious leaders and the village chiefs, the men, to understand the dangers of female genital cutting. Molly understood and saw the African wisdom beneath the uneducated. She trained all her staff to respect the African way so that through dignity, perseverance and patience, the African women took a stand and made the changes that would help all their future generations to triumph.

This is an important story because we can all learn from how Molly helped bring about change. This selfless woman dedicated her life to achieve what may have seemed impossible. I was inspired, uplifted and greatly touched by, not just her story, but that of all the African women and men who played a part in shaking their world for the better. A remarkable and unforgettable book—one of the best books I've read this year. Highly recommended.

Note: This book is rated C = clean read.
To read more reviews, visit the TLC Book tour page.

About the author:
Aimee Molloy has collaborated on seven books, including with Newsweek journalist Maziar Bahari on Then They Came for Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival and with Pam Cope on Jantsen’s Gift: A True Story of Grief, Rescue, and Grace. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Duke University and a master’s degree from New York University. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and daughter.

Find out more about Aimee at her website.

Reviewed by Laura 

Disclosure: Thanks to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

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