A while back I decided to do book reviews because I tend to read a lot. Books take me out of the ordinary day to day life and, well. Let's face it. Every mom needs to get out of the ordinary day to day life once in a while. I've read a ton of books since deciding to do a book review, but just haven't gotten around to actually doing it yet. So here goes my first. We'll see if I can keep it up.
The first book I'm reviewing didn't actually take me anywhere I wanted to be (as in away from ordinary life) because as I read it, I kind of wished I could just wake my kids up and hug them and kiss them and make them play with me.
The book I read is Left to Tell by Immaculée Ilibagiza. It tells the story of Imaculée, one of the very few survivors of the Rwandan genocide, and how she truly found God as she hid with seven other women in a tiny bathroom.
As I read this book I was brought to tears multiple times for multiple reasons. The intense hatred of the Hutus, the Rwandan tribe which began the genocide, for the Tutsis (the Rwandan tribe Imaculée belonged to) is something I can't understand. As I read her words I simply couldn't believe that human beings could be so cruel to one another. I was a history major and spent an entire semester doing independent study on WWII. I know all about the Nazi's and the holocaust in Germany, the propaganda they used, rampant mind control, and fear tactics, but the holocaust in Rwanda was on a completely different level.
Some of the times I cried were because I felt so infereior to Imaculée. She is amazingly close to Heavenly Father, knows His will for her, and in my opinion, has the faith to walk on water or move the Uinta mountains. As I read about her relationship with God and her complete trust in Him I couldn't help but think about all the things I should be doing more often and more fully to have a better relationship with God.
Left to Tell is an extremely well-written, thought provoking, emotional book. Be forwarned. There is graphic dialog. Not as in swearing, but as in the violence. Something that caught me off guard was Imaculée's friends and neighbors tell her in great detail how each of her family members died. They are all gruesome and violent. If you can't handle that, then be aware that she describes many murders of various people of various ages. It is sad, it is horrible, it is non-fiction. It really happened and isn't something we can ignore, which is something most countries tried to do when the holocaust was actually happening there.
I highly recommend this book to EVERYONE. Yes it is sad, but it is also the most uplifting book I've read this year (only The Book of Mormon could beat it). I read it because it was the book club book for our Relief Society this month and to be honest, I didn't want to read it at first. I don't usually read non-fiction. (I have enough real life everyday, thank you. I don't usually want more when it is time to relax.) But as I started to read it I couldn't put it down and now I really would love to meet Imaculée. She does conferences and lectures and at the website (the link is above) you can find if she'll be close to your area.