by Kendi Karimi
Murdering Romance is a fictional story about one woman whose love for peanuts unknowingly sealed her fate, her missing father who had a lot to say about his absence in her life, and a little time to say it, then suddenly none at all, her ex-lovers who had a lot of her to kiss, but not to love, never to love.
Mukami wants to understand love and has spent all her life understanding death, like picking up yellow flowers from the brown earth and having them turn a pale blue in your hand. And she has lived a long life. And she is tired. She has been brave and is tired of that face. She has written herself to fame and is tired of the fame.
Available at these places –> Amazon.com | Nuria the Honest Store, Nairobi | Naivas supermarkets | Writer’s Guild Kenya bookshop | Kibanga books | Candy and Books Kenya
Murdering Romance is about Mukami, a woman in a quest to discover and experience authentic love, freely given by a father, or even a lover. She has wondered where to find this love, for what she has seen and experienced for herself does not compare to her imagination. She has also always wondered why her father left, why he didn’t stay and make a family with her mom. Perhaps his love and care would have taught her more, shown her how to find an authentic love for herself years later.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mukami starts a conversation with her estranged father via email, in which he tells her about the past, and she does her best to tell him about her present. She works at understanding his choices while doing her best to resolve a longstanding grudge over his neglect. Their conversations are fresh and revealing.
As these conversations unfold, Mukami shares her own experiences with love, or the lack of it, in the form she imagines authentic love should be and exist. The most disturbing of these accounts is a relationship with ‘Peanut Man’. An experience that is treated as best as it can be. I do feel as though the Peanut Man’s saga should be an entire book plot on its own, complete with a therapy session for the character, but I digress. Thankfully, Mukami does move on from Peanut Man to other relationships.
There is a rawness to Murdering Romance. Mukami does her best to share and unpack her life and the experiences she has lived. Each one made her wonder, making her wish and hope for the right one, the perfect moment. The conversations with her father become important. Murdering Romance is a story about Mukami who simply wanted to experience an actual authentic moment of genuine love and call it her own.