“She always knew that one day, she would pay for her stories, but she never expected it to be such personal a vengeance.”

Genre: Fiction

Pages: 214

Published: 29th April, 2022

Rate: 2.5 stars


The novel by Kendi Karimi – a journalist-turned author- is a fascinating and nostalgic narration that effortlessly combines real life and fictional tales weaved into an engrossing masterpiece.

Murdering Romance is a story about Mukami who simply wanted to experience an actual authentic moment of genuine love and call it her own.

But let the title not lull you into thinking that the book is solely about romance. It is much more. The author first portrays Mukami as this lady who seems to be on a revenge mission disguised as pursuit of love but as the plot thickens, the storyline evolves into other deeper issues. The book delves deep into several themes including domestic violence, toxic masculinity, femininity, absentee parents and abuse, among others.

Often there is a gulf of difference between fiction and non-fiction but in Murdering Romance, the dissimilarity between the two is too blurred to discern. The most disturbing of these accounts is a relationship with ‘Peanut Man’, an experience which is treated as best as it can be; ballsy yet sensitively. Some say that the Peanut Man’s saga should be an entire book plot on its own, complete with a therapy session for the character.

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 making her wonder, making her wish and hope.

Disclaimer: A copy of the book was sent to me by the author for review but all opinions and thoughts are honest and my own

My Take

If you remember my review of The Cages We Built still by Kendi Karimi I said I would love to read a novel by her, and that was actualized this year. I got to read Murdering Romance a few months ago and I have to say, I enjoyed some parts and some not so much.

The writing in Murdering Romance is lyrical. Written in beautiful prose the author explores and leads us through the life of Mukami as she tries to figure it all out. The book started really well and I was hooked. I was ready for Papa Jones and Mukami’s story line. It promised for an entertaining and evocative read, but unfortunately we were only given a glimpse and for me it made me lose interest. The familial relationship story arc was honestly my favorite and I wish we got to see more of it.

 “… no matter how deeply you know someone, you can never know them to the full extent of their being.”

Some characters are written in such a shallow way that they became annoying and I just wanted them off the page. I wasn’t happy with how the word ugly was being used when it came to descriptions of people as well. It just did not work. There are a few spelling mistakes here and there so I am hopeful that will be rectified.

I did try to like the book. There are times the narrative would pick up pace and I would flip through the pages so fast, and then it slowed down and I would be confused because I didn’t, still don’t, understand what it is I was reading. The ending also did throw me off a bit.

Have you read Murdering Romance? What did you think about it?