A mine for lessons and amazing truths about life, that is how I would best define this book. Things I will tell my daughter is Joan Thatiah’s first book to be published. It contains uncensored truths on different parts of life and the lessons she has learnt through her life and the life of the women around her. She is the mother of a boy and that makes it quite intriguing why the book is addressed to a daughter. In an interview with Caroline Mutoko, Joan explains that she wrote the book to herself. Things I will tell my daughter are lessons she would tell her younger self if she could.
The book begins on a high note, with a captivating yet emotionally intriguing story of how she discovered that she was pregnant as a teenager. The confidence with which she talks about that particular time of her life expresses her acceptance of what happened, and this confidence denies the reader the right to feel sorry for her. The description of her ordeal also shows a young girl who is confused and in want of understanding.
From her pregnancy, Joan moves us into her journey of how she reclaims her life and changes her situation. With the help and support of the people around her, she manages to tell a different story from what would be stereotypical of a teen mom. Her journey, from working odd jobs to getting through school, all make her relatable to the common folk.
This book is all rounded on the life of a woman, from when she is a young lady to when she becomes a mother. Her style of writing makes it easy to get through her books according to your preference and topic of interest at a particular time. The book is divided into chapters, each of which has subsections elaborating further on the topic being discussed.
On womanhood, she highlights the need to take care of you. Most people entrust their happiness to other people yet the only person who can make you happy is yourself. Joan talks about the automatic response of a woman to show up for other people, she, however, insists on letting other people show up sometimes. She also addresses the issue of a woman’s weight and confidence in their body. Though the topic is touchy, she boldly speaks about being told to love your body even when you are leading an unhealthy lifestyle. She advises on not accepting the parts of you that you are not comfortable with and if there is something you can do to change it, then you can work to change that.
Feminism is also a topic that most people have a difficult time talking about. She talks about the history of feminism and what it is, pointing out both the negatives and the positives. The book is vast in topics and is full of lessons, some of which are described and explained through people’s stories making them more relatable to the common folk.
Things I will tell my daughter focuses on the things that people wished they had been told at an early age. The book is a good read. You can buy the book from the Magunga Bookstore.