Non Fiction

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


This is a hard book to review ( I know a lot more people will start their review with this sentence or even tag on this disclaimer as well). It is the real story of a struggle and a life led in a war-torn land even before Clemantine was old enough to understand what any of it meant.I saw this being discussed a lot in the blogging world, and was intrigued enough to get my hands on a copy and read it for myself. As with most non-fiction books I think it presumptuous on my part to comment on something that actually occurred. So I usually tend to stick with how it made me feel and maybe the narration itself. I intend to do just that with this review.

The tale moves between her life before arriving in America and after. The before America part is further divided into a short life before the war in Rwanda and the trials faced after it. I felt a disconnect with emotions in the narration at times, which the author(s) actually explain but it slowed down my reading. By the time I finished the book, I did not know which emotion to feel because most of the usual ones have already been addressed by Clemantine herself! This tale belongs to the girl who has been shaped by the events in which she played no part, except to face a brunt of it. This particular war may be in the past but everyday brings new horrors to light . Though it may be hard to read about these facts, I think it has the capacity to ground us and point us towards our current reality.

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