The Girl Who Smiled Beads

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 24 Jul 2018

Member Reviews

This is the story of two sisters who escaped the Rwandan genocide and eventually reunited with their family on the Oprah show. The author, Clemantine Wamariya, reveals how she and her sister traveled across Africa to live in a variety of refugee camps staying alive any way they could.

Clementine tells her story from a very young age when her family breaks up and she and her sister, Claire, are left on their own. They both end up in the U.S. and are given substantial help. Clementine lives with American families, attends school, and becomes a sought after speaker all the while trying to come to grips with her past and present.

Well written, informative, and eye opening. Clementine's story is one of bravery, personal strength, and optimism.
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Magnificent, emotional and raw, beautifully written.

      This novel takes you on a journey of survival and doesn't ever let up. Clemantine is constantly living in a struggle for survival, even after moving to the United States. She continues to try and find her own identity. The start of the book shows the life she had, as a happy young child with her whole life ahead of her and that life suddenly taken from her in a blink of an eye. Everything changed and she had no explanation. Clemantine has remembered the six years of the tortured journey her and her sister were forced to take through seven African countries in raw and precise detail. Clear and accurate sentences that made me feel her anger from within the text. The hardships and peril these two children have to face for seven long and terrifying years will make you feel lucky for every extra luxury you have in your life and make you want to reach out and help in any way you can. Powerfully written. I loved her short precise sentences, it made her story more powerful. She didn't need to elaborate to get her message across to the audience.

Clemantine is now a refugee advocate sitting on many panels to get the message to others but still struggles with her own identity. Trying to connect with the rest of her family that has also sought asylum in the United States. A moving and thought-provoking autobiography. 
Will be recommending this book to many people.
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