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The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clemantine Wamariya

September 26, 2018 0 Comments
The Girl Who Smiled BeadsClemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth WeilPenguin/RandomHouseMarch 2018

The Girl Who Smiled Beads        Synopsis:

A riveting story of dislocation, survival, and the power of stories to break or save us.

Clemantine Wamariya was six years old when neighbors began to disappear, and when she heard the loud, ugly sounds her brother said were “thunder.” In 1994, she and her fifteen-year-old sister, Claire, fled the Rwandan massacre. They spent the next six years wandering through seven African countries, searching for safety. Perpetually hungry, imprisoned and abused, enduring and escaping refugee camps, finding unexpected kindness, witnessing inhuman cruelty. They did not know whether their parents were dead or alive.

When Clemantine was twelve, she and her sister were granted asylum in the United States. Here she embarked on another journey–to excavate her past and claim her individuality.

The Girl Who Smiled Beads

Spoiler-Free Review:

When I first heard about ‘The Girl Who Smiled Beads’, I knew I needed to read it. The synopsis was utterly fascinating, but also heartbreaking – and I knew that the book would draw me in, and teach a valuable lesson. This book was a beautifully written, absolutely harrowing memoir of Wamariya’s story.

The story was extremely atmospheric, which made it all the more devastating, but also profound. The fact that it was from the perspective of a child, made it all the more devastating. It was a deep, gutting and hopeful story which I would recommend to anyone. 

One key part of the book which I will always go back to is the fact that Wamariya would write her name anywhere she could. On car windows, street signs etc. She would etch her name everywhere and anywhere, in hope that her parents would see it and know she was alive. 

If you enjoy reading memoirs, please pick this one up.

I received this E-Arc in exchange for an honest review and would like to say thank-you to Penguin/Randomhouse for providing me with an advanced-readers-copy of this book.

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