The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After

The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After Review

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

Clemantine Wamariya was six years old when her mother and father began to speak in whispers, 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 and 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, where she embarked on another journey--to excavate her past and, after years of being made to feel less than human, claim her individuality.

Raw, urgent, and bracingly original, The Girl Who Smiled Beads captures the true costs and aftershocks of war: what is forever destroyed; what can be repaired; the fragility of memory; the disorientation that comes of other people seeing you only as broken--thinking you need, and want, to be saved. But it is about more than the brutality of war. It is about owning your experiences, about the life we create: intricately detailed, painful, beautiful, a work in progress.

Title:The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After
Edition Language:English

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    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Angela M

    4.5 stars . I read very few memoirs, but felt I should read this one after recently reading a novel about the Rwanda genocide which made me realize of how little I knew of it. In this book, we are exp...

  • JanB

    5++ starsI had plans for today but first I decided to sit and read for an hour. Many hours later, I closed the last page of this book. I simply could not put it down until I had read every word of thi...

  • Debbie

    Socks officially knocked off!Best book I’ve read this year, hands down, and it goes on my all-time favorites list. Intense, upsetting, sobering, this story got under my skin in a big way. I can’t ...

  • Diane S ?

    4.5 The genocide in Rawanda, another subject that I knew little about. I knew it happened, knew it was a terrible atrocity, saw bits and pieces on the news, but that's about the extent of my knowledge...

  • Elyse

    “The word genocide cannot articulate the one-person experience—the real experience of each of the millions it purports to describe. The experience with a child playing dead in a pool of his fathe...

  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    5 brave, bold stars to The Girl Who Smiled Beads! 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 The Girl Who Smiled Beads has been the memoir I’ve most anticipated reading this year, and when I finally got to it, it was...

  • Erin

    Thanks to NetGalley for an advanced ebook in exchange for an honest review. If I had a hard copy of this book, I would send it to each and everyone of you. Books like this resonate once again how powe...

  • Jennifer Blankfein

    The Nobel Peace Prize winning author and Holocaust survivor, Elie Weisel, appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 2006 where Oprah played clips from an interview they had done on site at Auschwitz. In a...

  • Resh (The Book Satchel)

    I'd recommend this book in a heart beat. ...

  • Ali Edwards

    Back in 2014 I heard Clemantine speak in Washington DC at a summit on girls + women in Africa which was sponsored by the ONE Campaign and Google. The event itself and the stories presented were profou...