Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Vuto - A Story about a completely unprepared U.S. Peace Corps worker in Malawi (she has two dads)

Vuto by A.J. Walkley

Vuto is only 17 when her third child dies, mere days after birth.

Malawian tradition prevents men from considering a child their own until it has survived for two weeks. Frustrated at not being able to speak to her husband, Solomon, about all three of the children she’s had to bury alone, Vuto forces him to acknowledge the dead baby. Her rejection of tradition causes Solomon and the village elders to banish Vuto from the only home she’s ever known. She seeks refuge in the hut of U.S. Peace Corps volunteer Samantha Brennan, where Solomon discovers his wife has not left as she was told.

When Solomon arrives in the night to attack Vuto, Samantha disregards her oath to remain uninvolved in village politics and interjects herself into the center of the conflict, defending Vuto and killing Solomon in the process.

The women go on the run from Vuto’s village and the Peace Corps, encountering physical, ethical and cultural struggles along the way.

This novel is told from the perspectives of Vuto, Samantha and two other Peace Corps volunteers.

Mentioned several times throughout the novel, Samantha's parents are gay male life partners who adopted Sam when she was a baby. She credits some of her idealism from being raised in an open-minded, liberal, LGBT-headed family.

This indie published book was funded by the author's successful kickstarter campaign.  A.J. has also written about being bisexual and in the Peace Corps in Malawi at the Huffington Post. Add your review of "Vuto" in comments!

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