Ansomwin Ignace Hien: Une flamme dans le noir [A Flame in the Dark]

The latest addition to my website is Ansomwin Ignace Hien‘s Une flamme dans le noir [A Flame in the Dark]. Though Hien is from Burkina Faso, much of the novel is set in Côte d’Ivoire and most of the main characters are Ivoirian, though not all. The novel tells the story of Simon, an Ivorian architect who falls for a young girl in a remote village but cannot marry her as he is about to go to France for five years. He later returns to Côte d’Ivoire and assists the young daughter of a couple to get an education. His assistance, however, consists of raping her and getting her pregnant. He marries her – she is more reluctant than he is – and we follow their messy later life. Both have affairs, both behave badly and most of the main characters end up dead or thoroughly miserable. It is a grim tale, warning against marital infidelity, unprotected sex and checking out that your partner has no hidden secrets that will come back to hurt you.

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