Monday, February 20, 2012

Running the Rift | Naomi Benaron

I read this last week and I'm still mulling over the story. I haven't read many books on the Rwandan genocide, as it's such a brutal chapter in African history. This story comes from the perspective of a young man who loves to run, is talented and Tutsi.

As he grows up he is given the opportunity to represent his country and he has his sights on the Atlanta Olympics competing in the 800m. But in the background the nation is boiling over with political tensions and the massacres begin in earnest. He escapes with his life, but not much else.
The story is well told, with enough emotional understanding of the conflict between Tutsi and Hutu for us to gain some insight and share some empathy with the main characters who come from both racial groups.
As I read I often recalled scenes from Hotel Rwanda, which helped to reinforce the scenes played out in the book.
I recommend this book but be prepared for the hard hitting realities of a nation who tears itself apart in acts of genocide.

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