I Could Not Put this Book Down
Literally. I started reading this book around 4 PM one day and finished at 3 AM without putting the book down once. It was that good.
Was it Enjoyable?
No. I would not describe it as a fun book to read.
So What Gives?
Immaculee is an extraordinary woman. She endured horror during the Rwandan genocide in early 1994. In 100 days almost a million people were massacred in Rwanda. Click HERE for some facts and details about the genocide.
The book took me on a journey. Immaculee so vividly described her experience that I felt I was with her in the bathroom she was hiding in for months. I could hear the machetes used to murder and the screams of the women, children, and men. The book invited me into the pain and horror.
Um… ok… so tell me again why you liked this book?
So the book introduces the reader to the genocide from the perspective of a survivor. But that is the point. Immaculee is a survivor. More than that. She is in my opinion an extraordinary woman of God. Immaculee describes vividly her dependence on prayer and the Holy Rosary to help sustain her. God was with her during her immense suffering. She became a light for the other women hiding in the bathroom with her. Immaculee describes experiencing the presence of God both internally and in the form of real miracles.
Most of all I believe this book gave me and continues to offer me hope. Hope in the power of forgiveness. Hope that even in the midst of the most radical suffering God is with us. Hope in miracles. Hope that love is stronger than hate and evil.
I had the privilege of meeting Immaculee in person at a Divine Mercy Conference in Lackawanna, NY. She was a keynote speaker and was riveting — moving beyond words. Afterwards my daughter and I went to a book signing and Immaculee not only signed a book, but offered a prayer for my son as well. The light of Christ shone threw her eyes and I could feel the presence of God when I was near her. If you ever get the opportunity to hear her speak or to meet her — don’t walk — run. Your spirit and hope in the power of forgiveness will be strengthened.
Here is Immaculée Ilibagiza’s website (click on her name)
Below you will find numerous links (just click) describing the Rwandan Genocide. Please be cautious visiting these sites if there are children near you. Some of the images are vivid and scary. However, I feel that by raising our awareness of this genocide we may hopefully acknowledge the truth of what happened and participate in the immense healing that needs to happen for both the victims and perpetrators. Rwanda needs our help even to this day.