Books Issues Non-Fiction Reviews Short Stories

The emotions expressed are too raw and life-changing


AUTHOR: Joan Thatiah

REVIEWER: Scholastica Moraa

AVAILABILITY: Nuria Bookstore

After Confessions of Nairobi Women book 1 and 2, Confessions of Nairobi Men is a breath of fresh air. Finally, we are getting something from the men who are always closed up, afraid to let the world see where it hurts. Afraid to share what happened.

Joan Thatiah has not disappointed with this one.

Confessions of Nairobi Men is a collection of 15 short stories that tell the stories of 15 men. From men who give everything and still get their hearts broken, men whose dreams were killed before they even had a chance take flight, men who have been humiliated so badly, they break at the slightest trigger; to men who search for their identity in the cracks between time and in the faces of the strangers they meet, Joan brings it all out in the painful yet graceful strokes of her pen.

From this book we learn that all men have a story.  They may wear their manhood like armour but deep down they are looking for home; for a safe space to rest their tired wings and the least we can do is to be kind as they figure this out. Reading this collection was as eye-opening as it emotionally wrenching. It is a gift, getting to read and experience these lives who come alive in these pages and whose stories will always remain etched in our minds.

If you are easily triggered, this may not be the book for you. The emotions expressed are too raw and life-changing. If you decide to pick this read, do so with caution because the humane way Thatiah picks up these stories and puts them together is so heartbreakingly beautiful and it may send you over the edge.

Books Issues Non-Fiction Releases Reviews

These harrowing tales will make you a better person

TITLE: Confessions of Nairobi Women Book Two

AUTHOR: Joan Thatiah

REVIEWER: Scholastica Moraa

There’s something about secrets and confessions that makes everyone’s ears perk up, listen a little harder and be more curious. That is what Joan Thatiah’s books do. They make you crave what is inside the pages. They make you pay attention

 Confessions of Nairobi Women Book Two is a sequel to the first series. It contains twelve, raw, painful but brilliantly written stories. They are also page turners. You just can’t stop reading; every story just keeps you yearning for a little bit more.

As harrowing as the tales are, in the end, they are worth it because they leave you looking at the world differently; Looking at the women you meet in different situations with kinder eyes. They are a harsh reminder of the adage, ‘walk a mile in someone’s shoes before you dare to judge’

From a woman who tried so hard not to be like her mother only to end up realising the path her mother chose was the best, to a lawyer whose life was destroyed in car jack; the stories leave you trembling with horror. Because they are just ordinary women who you wouldn’t look at twice if you met them. You would actually think they are pretty well off and have no reason to complain. From the horrors of addiction, prostitution, FGM, crime, and many more; there is no dark place the writer has shied away from.

These stories deserve to be here. If you come across this book, pick it up, immerse yourself in it. When you bring your head up for air, you will be a changed person, I hope a better and kinder person too.

And that is what books are meant to do. Make us better.

This book comes highly recommended.

Books Non-Fiction Reviews

Who hurt you?

Title: Confessions of Nairobi Women

Author: Joan Thatiah

Reviewer: Scholastica Moraa

I will be lying if the catchy title did not light in me the desire to read this book. Confessions… secrets … scandals have always held an appeal to everyone. Joan Thatiah did not disappoint. The fact that the stories are true makes the experience otherworldly. I love the fact that Joan was asking the question so many people want to be asked.. who hurt you? What are you afraid of? When did things start going south? what pain are you trying to hide behind that smile?

Joan Thatiah steps into the shoes of these women and takes us with her. She dunks us in the lives of these women and their fear and pain seeps into our souls too. The stories are written in a simple yet beautiful style and are ideal for people looking for easy yet appealing reads.

We meet Atemi whose husband is infertile but asks too much from her. In another we meet a woman whose father broke her mother and who is afraid of becoming her mother. We meet a girl whose father took advantage of her and turned her into who she is now- a beautiful woman bleeding on the inside.

We also meet a pregnant teenager who clawed her way to where she is now but whose demons cling to her skirts and just can’t let her go. We meet women who have undergone violence and are still piecing their pieces together. We meet conwomen and prostitutes.  Businesswomen and wives. Mothers and daughters. Reflections of who we are. Of what we go through. A mirror of what the society has done to women.

The book is a candid reflection of what most women go through, why they make the decisions they do and how they feel about them. Most people make decisions based on their experiences or the experiences of their loved ones…

Reading these stories, I would really love to say I don’t know these women. That these stories are not real. But how can I when I know tens of women exactly like these ones? How can I when they are my friends? How can I pretend that their stories are not real when their demons cling to my soul?

This is a beautiful read. Not just to women who make the largest percentage of Joan Thatiah’s readers but to everyone who can read. Because through pieces like this… we understand.  And maybe if we all understand, we will be kinder. We will leave our judgemental stuff by the door when we meet other people.

Totally unputdownable. Met and exceeded expectations. Would highly recommend any day.

Moraa is a young woman navigating life. Author of Beautiful Mess… Co Author of Dreams and Demons and I’m Listening 2021 edition. She is also the winner of Kendeka Prize of African Literature-2022. She can be found with a book or two. When she’s not fighting to stay afloat, she is daydreaming, writing poetry or reading.