Sunday, May 6, 2018

Book Review - The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After by Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil

Photo Source - Amazon

The whispers began when Clemantine Wamariya was just six years old. Her beloved neighbors began to disappear and then came the loud thunder sounds that echo throughout her home. In 1994, Clemantine and her sister, Claire fled the Rwandan massacre but spent the next six years traveling to seven other African countries seeking asylum. Often while searching for shelter and safety, the sisters went hungry. They experienced both unexpected kindness and inhumane cruelty. The sisters are tormented by the idea of their parents and siblings safety. They had no communication after they left their home.

 The novel was an interesting read. While my family didn't come to the United States to seek asylum or escape war, I felt a bit kindship on some of the struggles she and her sister endured. It was inspiring to know that she was able to continue moving forward and graduate from Yale. While I did like the story, I didn't like the writing style of the novel. Especially, when it jumped from one time period to the next. On the first few pages, the novel mentions that the story is told from the perspective of a young child. However, before reading this novel, I wasn't aware of much of the historical events that took place in the author's life. I would have enjoyed the novel more if the author included some history of the events that were taking place as it would context to her story. Overall, it was an enjoyable read.

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