Coming to Birth by Marjorie Oludhe Macgoye – A Study Guide


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The storyline in the novel follows Kenya’s growth as a young independent nation. The political narrative runs alongside a tale of two young people in love – Martin and Paulina. They are the main characters in the novel, as their lives are seen to change as the events and happenings of the storyline shift and turn. Martin belongs to the working-class category in society, while Paulina is at first portrayed as a naïve young lady with little experience concerning the ‘ways of the city’. The love between Paulina and Martina captures the readers’ attention. Neither Martin nor Paulina openly express their affection  to each other, but rather through spontaneous acts of kindness, as seen from Martin to Paulina, revealing the presence of love. At the beginning of the novel, their love is ‘innocent and young’. It later faces the challenge of childlessness in marriage. The Marriage does not  Continue reading the review

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Coming to Birth is a novel written by Marjorie Oludhe Macgoye, and was first published in 1986. Marjorie moved and settled in Kenya during her early adulthood years. She was quickly integrated into the Luo culture, which is part of the larger African culture. She learnt the way of life, traditions, and customs of the Luo community in the course of her marriage to D. G. W. Macgoye – her husband. The novel gives the clear indication of detailed experiences in the Luo culture and traditions.


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