Last December, I attended the launch of an interesting book. First, let me say why my interest in the book was piqued. Titled: ‘Coffee and Love Chats’, it was being promoted as a book that ‘shares the marriage journeys of nine couples that have been married for different lengths of time (2 years, 5 years, one couple 16 years, another 20 years…), the experiences of couples telling their stories together’.
And me, I love stories. I love tales. I love learning from the experiences of other people. I absolutely indulge in real-life experiences. I yearn for the insights that people share, because I find them practical and enriching. So I was more than delighted to attend the ‘Coffee and Love Chats’ book launch and get myself a copy.
The book is authored by Lorraine Onyango, who, curiously, has been married for ‘just a year’. In fact, she began writing it when she was only a few months into marriage. So what does Lorraine really know about marriage, enough for her to write a book about marriage? Well, this is her response to that question:
“In today’s world, there are so many stories about marriage that we come across and unfortunately, a significant number of them are all negative. The stories that are widely shared and discussed in online groups are horrid tales of couples that are often embroiled in bitter misunderstandings. Relationship discussions on radio shows are inundated with stories of aggrieved spouses –emotional wives and husbands –hurting from betrayal, with the raw pain in their voices making the listeners just as emotional. Many of the marriage stories that we read, hear about in our social circles and even participate in, are about unions that are breaking apart, those that are not working, and how the marriage institution is falling apart. Almost as though marriage is just a sham.
The idea for the book came about as a result of me wanting to change these dialogues. My desire was to have a reference point for marriages that are working –as told by couples themselves. I wanted to document the real-life experiences of couples sharing their marital journey –including the ups and downs that they have faced. I wanted a space where we can indulge in discussions about married couples who are committed to their marriage and are working through whatever challenges that come their way, of couples that aspire to be better spouses to each other. Amidst all the marriage negativity, I wanted to talk to individuals who believe in the institution of marriage, are actually making their marriage work, and are inspiring others through their journey. Basically, I was looking for refreshing tales about marriage.
Admittedly, I am new in marriage and I know there is lots to learn about the institution. That’s why I decided to interview couples with the hope of them sharing experiences that I and many other people learn from.”
Thus Lorraine’s journey to authoring ‘Coffee and Love Chats’ began. She reached out to several couples and shared her vision with them. Lorraine sat down with each of the couples and listened to them open up about various aspects of their marriage –dating, finances, sex, fertility, miscarriage, parenting, conflict, death of loved ones, in-laws, ethnic differences, careers etc. I have read the book, and it was indeed a refreshing read. An oasis in the desert.
The simplicity with which Lorraine has shared the couples’ stories is the best part about the book –at least for me. Even more importantly, the book is not about prescribed step-by-step formulas about “How to Make your Marriage Work”, but is simply a documentation of stories shared by couples regarding their own experiences.
I without any reservations recommend you to read ‘Coffee and Love Chats’ too. By the way the book is not just for married people, but anyone who believes in the marriage institution, and desires to share positivity about it. I will be sharing bits of helpful information from the book right here on this blog in subsequent articles, so look out for those.
The book retails at Sh1,800 and you can find it at Book Stop, Yaya Center. You can also purchase it through MPESA ‘Buy Goods’ Number 850004. Delivery can be organized. You may also send a message to 0734 961 330 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org to get your copy. You can also contact Lorraine on Facebook or Twitter.
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