Part 1: Girl Child

CHAPTER 1.

The story begins with the birth of Akoko, the first girl in a family of seven boys. Akoko is the daughter of Chief Odero Gogni of Yimbo and his second wife, Aketch. Though fond of crying, (hence the name ‘Akoko’), she develops quite fast and by the age of seven and a half months, she is able to walk.

At the age of four, she gets a sister and she is initiated when the time is right. By the time she is seventeen, her father begins receiving marriage proposals for her. However, her stubborn father and her twenty one brothers make it difficult for her to get a suitor even by her nineteenth birthday.

CHAPTER 2

Many suitors come to seek Akoko’s hand in marriage but they are all turned away by her father. At last, a young man by the name of Owuor Kembo, Chief of Sakwa, in full war regalia, arrives and impresses Chief Gogni as a man full of ‘nyadhi‘.

Chief Gogni sets Akoko’s bride price at thirty head of cattle which is two and a half times the usual bride price – this is meant to be a test on the suitor. To the surprise of many, and out of pride, young Chief Owuor does not bargain, much to the chagrin of his younger brother Otieno.

The marriage is set for the fourteenth day of the following month and Akoko is called in for the visitors to see her. Unlike other girls of her time, she walks in bravely looking straight at her future husband and young Chief Owuor, immediately, falls in love with her.

CHAPTER 3

On the fourteenth day of the following month, thirty head of cattle are driven into the compound of Chief Gogni in the company of many young men. The visitors are received by some local young men and guided to a hut where they feast late into the night.

At the first cockcrow, Akoko is ‘stolen’ from Chief Gogni’s compound amid a lot of noise and her screaming. She is taken to Sakwa where she is received with a lot of ululations and everyone in the village comes to get a glimpse of Chief Owuor’s ‘mikai‘ (the first wife).

After ten months, she gives birth to a baby boy – Obura and four years later, a girl – Nyabera. Owuor is very protective of the girl while he is under pressure from her mother to marry a second wife.

CHAPTER 4

While Akoko is caring for her children, her mother-in-law is blaming her for not getting more children and for preventing his son from marrying another wife. She alleges that Akoko has bewitched his son.

The news of the mother-in-law’s allegations reach Akoko who wakes up the following day wailing and screaming. This disturbance attracts a sizable crowd and she narrates her troubles, with the mother-in-law, to everyone – this happens while Chief Owuor is away on a friend’s burial.

In haste, Akoko gathers a few belongings and leaves her matrimonial home and the children behind.

When Owour returns, he is angered by his mother’s actions and calls for the council of ‘Jodongo‘ who agree to send messengers to Yimbo to report that a delegation of elders would be coming to negotiate the return of Akoko. The messengers are received coldly and only the dictates of ‘chik‘ save them from harm.

CHAPTER 5

The ‘Jadongo‘ from Sakwa and Yimbo converge for a meeting to discuss the events that led to Akoko’s actions. Both Akoko and Owuor are given chances to present their versions of events.

Akoko admits that she loves her husband but that her mother and brother-in-law had insulted her by calling her ‘a witch’. Owuor, on the other hand, is defensive and admonishes Akoko for being rash and irresponsible in her actions.

Oloo castigates Akoko for being impatient but also acknowledges the gravity of the accusations since they were an insult on the whole Yimbo clan. In the end, the parties agree that Owuor pays a goat to appease Akoko’s mother and Akoko is ordered to go back to Sakwa the following day.

CHAPTER 6.

Shortly after her return, Akoko conceives and gives birth to a baby boy named Owang’ Sino. Meanwhile, Otieno, the younger brother to Owuor, has four wives and eighteen children. He treats his wives like sluts in contrast to Owour who treats Akoko like a queen.

Obura, who is now seventeen, is interested in what is happening in the world now being ruled by white men. He wants to go and see the world but his father admonishes him and reminds him of his duty as the next chief.

CHAPTER 7.

Obura, who has been very quiet and obedient, changes drastically to a moody seventeen year old. His parents wake up, one day, and discover that he has disappeared.

Chief Owuor assembles two search parties and sends them off to look for his son. However, they return empty-handed with the shocking news that Obura had been picked up by some white men. This news is devastating to Akoko who believes that she will never see her son again.

CHAPTER 8

Misery engulfs the Owuor homestead for almost two years since Obura’s disappearance. Chief Owuor and Akoko are affected so much that they do not talk about the issue.

One day, messengers for the ‘Sirikal‘ (colonial government) arrive in Chief Owour’s compound. They come to inform the Chief that the First World War was over and that the British had won. They also report that three young men from his village had taken part in the war. Unfortunately, only one – Nyaroche Silwal – had survived.

They present the Chief with a bracelet sent to him by the white men in honour of Obura’s service. The Chief is furious and throws it away, only for Nyabera to pick it and hide it. The village goes into mourning for the Chief’s son as tradition dictates.

CHAPTER 9.

In this chapter, Nyabera is deeply affected by the death of her brother, Obura. With the of her mother, she finally accepts it and heals. She grows up to be an intelligent and hardworking girl and when she turns eighteen, suitors start calling.

Finally, a suitable suitor called Okumu is accepted because he comes from the nearby village and Akoko hopes to see his daughter often. After two marry, they are blessed with a child who dies immediately and the next two are sickly.

In the meantime, Owang’ Sino tries to fit into the shoes of his late brother with little success. He decides to marry quickly especially since his father was sick. A suitable girl is found but before a bride price is paid, the Chief dies.

Akoko mourns her husband’s death by donning his monkey skin and headdress and a spear in one hand and a shield in the other. She sings dirges in his honour.

After the funeral, the marriage negotiations conclude and Alando Nyar is brought home as Owang’ Sino’s wife. The couple is blessed with a baby boy – Owuor.

Misfortune befalls Akoko when Owang’ Sino chokes to death and the Chiefdom has to go to the hateful Otieno until Owuor can be of age.

CHAPTER 10

Otieno takes over the Chief’s stool and he use the opportunity to grab his brother’s wealth and even wants to take Akoko’s belongings. Akoko’s intelligence and foresight leads her to Kisuma to seek the assistance of the white man.

She takes her grandson, Owuor, to her brother Oloo and visits Nyabera to tell her of her journey. She also urges Nyabera to believe that Were would give her a child who would live.

After five days  with Nyabera, Akoko embarks on her journey to Kisuma with the company of Oloo’s twins – Opiyo and Odongo – to seek justice.

CHAPTER 11

Oloo sends his sons – Opiyo and Odongo – to accompany Akoko to Kisuma. Akoko tries to send them back but they refuse. On the journey, the twins are amazed at Akoko’s bravery even in darkness. Akoko also takes the opportunity to teach the twins about the history of Ramogi.

When they arrive near Kisuma, they meet Otuoma, a stranger, who agrees to accommodate them before they could see the D.O. the following day.

The next day, Otuoma escorts Akoko and the twins to Kisuma where he helps her file a case and book an appointment with the D.O. They are told to return in three days time.

CHAPTER 12

The D.O. listens to Akoko’s grievances through an interpreter and he agrees to make his own investigations. After a month, a party is sent from Kisuma to carry out an investigation into Akoko’s allegations.

The party reports to the visiting D.C. that what Akoko had alleged was true. The D.C. consults with his council of elders and he decided to send a contingent of askaris to Sakwa to, forcefully, remove Chief Otieno from power.

Otieno is forced to return all he had grabbed from Akoko and his seat is given to a council of elders, to elect one of them, to rule the village until the rightful owner – Owuor – comes of age.

The journey to Kisuma had helped Akoko realize that the hereditary Chief system would not last and she decides to pack her belongings and head back to Yimbo where she stays with her brother, Oloo.

Part 2: The Art of Giving

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georgina muna
5 years ago

i really like the summary on the river and the source

Jane rukia
Jane rukia
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon

Hy it’s amazing

Nancy
Nancy
5 years ago

its a nyce summary…a gd work

Dennis
Dennis
5 years ago

thanks so much for this summary i really appreciate

Mercy Chelimo
Mercy Chelimo
5 years ago

please email me the full summary of the river and the source

Wickliffe moenga
Wickliffe moenga
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon

Please do email me the full summary too of the liver and the source please.
wgmoenga@gmail.com

Abey Malel
Abey Malel
5 years ago

very interesting. remembering my days at high schools the year 2001. not forgetting current principl Wajir high school.

Mwalimu Atoh
Mwalimu Atoh
5 years ago

please email me the chapter analysis questions

ahmad dowlo
ahmad dowlo
4 years ago

plz jon forward it to my email

ahmad dowlo
ahmad dowlo
4 years ago

plz jon forward it to my email adress

Frank
Frank
4 years ago

Mmmm… What a useful summary! May you send me the complete novel summary.

Too, do you have a style analysis of the novel? Plaza help me with the same.

Great work and my appreciations in advance!

My appreciations in advance.

stacey
stacey
4 years ago

absolutely awesome summary

Christine
Christine
4 years ago

Kindly give the significant events from every chapter together with the observations. Or better off give the relevance of the title ‘the girl child’

Navas
Navas
4 years ago

Pliz Jon I like your analysis send mi the whole analysis on themes and styles

Navas
Navas
4 years ago

And the other parts as well

Sasha
Sasha
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon

Hi kindly forward me the summary for part 2-4 summary of the novel..it is so clear and precise

lawrence
lawrence
4 years ago

wow!! nice summary

william mikey
william mikey
4 years ago

jon please email me an exhaustive summary for when the sun goes dowb for my project please

mwabege
mwabege
4 years ago

thats credible.
the summary is really interesting

Carol
4 years ago

Very amazing
Plz joh email me the whole summary of river and the source that Is part 1,2 and 3

tracy
4 years ago

Hi jon nice summary….. please send me the themes ,character traits and the stylistic devices too

Churchill
Churchill
4 years ago

Good work done

Emmah
Emmah
4 years ago

I love the simple but detailed language you use. my students enjoy the analysis. kindly mail me the themes, styles and character analysis.

Zipporah mallian
Zipporah mallian
4 years ago

Hi,what a wonderful summary!I love everything. May you pls email me all the chapter analysis plus the questions on the same.My email address is zipporahmallian@gmail.com.Thanks in advance.

wilson odhiambo
wilson odhiambo
4 years ago

wow so amazing….thanks for the summary..i loved this butvplease send me the summary on my email i will really appreciate…thanks

Carington indiazi
Carington indiazi
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon

Wow marvellous.I liked the summary and is all about storyline of a luo tribe.actualy it educates.Please! send for me the summary to my email?.caringtonindiazi@gmail.com

Ortix Pytre
4 years ago

It’s very nice and interesting story and summary

Elkana
Elkana
4 years ago

I really appreaciate your work email me the whole summary

Richard thoya
4 years ago

nice one

Bukhebi Felix
Bukhebi Felix
4 years ago

I like it. kindly email me the whole novel ie plot summary, stylistic devices, themes, character and characterisation

wanjiku kamanu
wanjiku kamanu
4 years ago

wow! i loved everything.keep up the good work.kindly send me the styles n themes used in the novel the river and the source shixkamanu@gmail.com

Kimwanga
Kimwanga
4 years ago

quite commendable.kindly drop me important episodes in each part.and if possible,essay questions so that i can test my candidates.as well as essay qusestion from The Caucasuan Chalk Circle.Thanks in advance

Kimwanga
Kimwanga
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon

Hi Jon. I really appreciate your works of literature. How i wish that you drop me some of your analysis of the river and the source.specifically the themes, styles and characterision. kimwangathaddeus@yahoo.com

TEDDY
TEDDY
4 years ago

its good to have it and it has helped a lot
Thanks

Prince abdi
4 years ago

its interesting plz foward my email the remaining chapters

lynn
lynn
4 years ago

a good one could I get the full summary n analysis plz need it quite urgently

moma
moma
4 years ago

Congrats, kindly post themes,characters and style on my mail.

Hillary lichina
Hillary lichina
4 years ago

the story is interesting.it has help me alot

Clarah
Clarah
4 years ago

Wow!!i like the work….it has really helped me

miss Don't Care
miss Don't Care
4 years ago

Thanks guys I have really escaped a punishment from my English teacher

BEN
BEN
4 years ago

Wow! nice one

Amoi Silas
Amoi Silas
4 years ago

I like your summary.. You gave it all..
Am requesting you to kindly email me the entire summary. THANKS..

Jackline Bonareri
Jackline Bonareri
4 years ago

Thanks for the summary it has been of great help atleast i dont have to reread the whole novel

Anthony
Anthony
4 years ago

thats good work done thank you

Aden Bashir
Aden Bashir
3 years ago

May u please get the summary of the four parts of the book 1 2 3 and 4 my email is Adanbashka@gmail.com

hamso
hamso
3 years ago

thenks a lot. Blessed are your hands for they shall make my assignment easier … hahahaha…. thenk you

andrew ngumbau
3 years ago

good job done thanks

callinz
callinz
3 years ago

Nice summary but can you please send me the meanings of some statements of chief odero,songs found and their singers,characters and characterisation and the full summary explaining all events in the book please….

patrick okumu
patrick okumu
3 years ago

I like the plot summary

vincent isaac
3 years ago

please email me full summary of the book

hafsa
hafsa
3 years ago

Very helpful thanks alot

DANCAN WANABO
DANCAN WANABO
3 years ago

The summary of the play is so interesting and well planned. I like it

Stive Msafi
3 years ago

Nice work and may God of mercy bless you,,,,,,thanks alot for your summury

moses monroe mbui
moses monroe mbui
3 years ago

What a wonderful work! Keep it up, you guy. Kindly e -mail me the bit on language/style and characterization

ian
ian
3 years ago

please email me the full summary of the book

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