Published By: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: May 16, 2017
Page Count: 304
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via Edelweiss
Young Adult - Memoir
This was a powerful memoir, but a difficult one to read. Sandra Uwiringiyimana is a young woman who grew up in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. War was a constant worry for her and her family; they were often displaced as fighting broke out. Things were even worse for Sandra's family as they came from a tribe that faced severe persecution in Congo. While Sandra's life in Africa, has many happy memories associated with it, it also holds some of her deepest pain.
The book begins in happier times when Sandra recalls playing with her pet monkey, laughing with her little sister, and getting into trouble with one of her older brothers. She describes life in her village and remarks on how much she loves attending school. Sandra's family is unique in the fact that they value education for females in a society that does not always see this as good use of time for girls. Many girls learn the basics and then begin to train for their lives as wives and mothers. Sandra's parents want their children to have options in life beyond becoming a spouse. I admired Sandra's parents and the way they operated their home and managed their large family. My heart also broke for them when Sandra's oldest brother, Heritage, was kidnapped and forced to fight in the army. Sandra's father refuses to rest until his son is returned home which will eventually happen, but Heritage will be plagued by his time as a young soldier and fitting into life with his family will take time.