‘THE HAVOC OF CHOICE’ – A REVIEW

IMAGE: WANJIRUKOINANGE. COM

How disastrous can one choice really be?

How much havoc can be generated by a single decision? 

How life-altering can a solitary action be to the lives of millions?

Wanjiru Koinange sets the stage for the answers to these questions to unravel. In her inaugural novel, she chronicles the havoc that one choice could cause. 

The Havoc of Choice is set in the run up to Kenya’s 2007 general elections. The events span just twelve days. Twelve days of extreme changes. Changes in emotions, vantage points, life style and life itself. 

Wanjiru novel’s follows the career of Ngugi. A bright architect who marries the daughter of a long-serving politician. After a spell of unemployment, he gets a lucrative government job offer, almost out of the blues. What should have been the chance of a lifetime turns out to be a direct ticket to infamy.

Corruption is exposed in the department he heads. He is hounded out of office. His reputation and career take an almost fatal beating. He finds out that his father-in-law, had indeed set him up for the job, and for the fall. 

He keeps a wide berth from him, to the delight of his wife, Kavata. Until he shows up one evening with news that turned his marriage on its head – He was running for office under the tutelage and sponsorship of his father-in-law. The same man that ruined his career. Battle lines are drawn. Kavata discreetly leaves for the US. She runs away from the possibility of her husband turning into her father.  

An election is rigged. Lives are lost. Blood is shed. Life is never the same again. 

The Havoc of Choice is a high-octane political thriller. It brings to fore the intrigues behind power. Wanjiru expertly highlights the horse-trading, back-stabbing, bribery and debauchery that characterizes Kenyan politics. She speaks to the pertinent issues that have bedeviled Kenya’s history. Ethnicity, corruption, electoral violence and a system of patronage. 

She reminds the reader of the abyss that Kenya missed by a whisker just thirteen years ago. In doing so, she honors the memories of the innocent civilians caught up in the crossfire of political conquest. The healthcare workers, women and girls who bear the brunt of sexual abuse, men and boys who are recruited to cause violence, and everyone in between. 

Her’s is a salient reminder of the ripple effect that one decision could have on millions of people. Such a timely read, just two years away from Kenya’s next general elections. 

The Havoc of Choice is entertaining, thought-provoking, and mind-blowing. 

Dig in!

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