Beyond the Horizon – Amma Darko

Publisher of Publication: 1995

Genre: Fiction

Ghanaian author Ama Darko’s Beyond the Horizon is tremendously insightful. At 140 pages, the book published by Heinemann in 1995 is a short and easy read.

Mara is a young woman who travels from the village to the city and then finally ends up in Munich, Germany.  It is her father who gives her away to marriage to the son of the village undertaker in exchange for “two white cows, four healthy goats, four lengths of cloth, beads, gold jewelry and two bottles of London Dry Gin”. Mara’s husband is Akobi and it is he who takes her to the city. Later Akobi gets a visa to Europe and leaves for Germany, where he later asks Mara to join him.  In Europe, Mara’s life takes an unexpected turn.

Personally, I was disturbed by the outmoded practice, whereby parents give their daughters away to marriage without their consent. And as Darko’s Beyond the Horizon shows, one cannot anticipate the many ‘what ifs’ of such practices – what  if the husband turns out to be of a bad character, what if the husband is an abusive one, what if the man is a drunkard, what if… (The list goes on and on).

I also found this book to be a heart pouring one from the side of Mara and more so from the perspective of the first person narrative. This book gives a good insight into the African immigrant experience in Europe. This is a gloom, dark and disturbing book. By the end of the book, I had to sympathize with Mara. I recommend this book to all and sundry.


14 Responses to Beyond the Horizon – Amma Darko

  1. Linda says:

    This is one of my favorite reads but I felt too sad for Mara.


  2. Myne Whitman says:

    This sounds like one to look out for. I have 2 Ghanaian novels I’m reading now and they’re great!


    • Geosi says:

      Myne, how’re you doing? Thanks for this comment. Yes, yes… I think I see Powder Necklace on your site and sure, I enjoyed reading ‘beyond the Horizon’-In this book, the writer paints the picture vividly before you and I hope you enjoy it once you pick it up to read. I enjoy your posts on your site as I’ve lately been a regular visitor there. You doing great job too. Thanks for passing by.


  3. I haven’t as yet read this novel. I have seen it but have always passed by. I have rather read Faceless and Not Without Flowers.


    • Geosi says:

      This is rather my first Amma Darko book read but hope to read more from her. How was her faceless?


      • Teewhy says:

        Amma Darko is one writer I’ll say is gifted with the ability to captivate her readers. “Faceless” is one novel I love so much because it touches the vital/very important aspect of parent’s negligence. I give her credit for that. (Y)


  4. amymckie says:

    I’ve been interested in this book since reading Kinna’s review. It sounds really good.


  5. […] is the second book from Amma Darko that I’ve read – the first being ‘Beyond the Horizon‘ which I did enjoy. I will now move on straight to the […]


  6. Sylvia says:

    A very intriguing novel about the plight of the African woman abroad; an ”unputdownable” book.


  7. dennis obiri says:

    ‘Beyond the horizon’ Amma Darko’s is a must read novel. I’ve read it myself and i urge all readers to read it.


  8. Eben says:

    Actually we used thuis book in school so i was kinda forced to read it but after reading it OMG am yearning to read any book written by her…….


  9. SENY KING says:

    God has done so many things for human beings but i don’t understand why one should be superior to another .We see in Amma Darko novel the life africans ladies and their misfortune when they travel abroad thanks to you AMMA DARKO


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