#Nonfiction Book Review: The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clemantine Wamariya & Elizabeth Weil

The Girl who Smiled Beads

*Thanks for the free book, Crown Publishing; it’s my pleasure to be a part of your monthly book send programme and provide honest reviews for the titles chosen*

A story of war and what comes after.

bookdescription

“The plot provided by the universe was filled with starvation, war and rape. I would not–could not–live in that tale.”

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 migrating 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 refugee status in the United States; there, in Chicago, their lives diverged. Though their bond remained unbreakable, Claire, who had for so long protected and provided for Clemantine, was a single mother struggling to make ends meet, while Clemantine was taken in by a family who raised her as their own. She seemed to live the American dream: attending private school, taking up cheerleading, and, ultimately, graduating from Yale. Yet the years of being treated as less than human, of going hungry and seeing death, could not be erased. She felt at the same time six years old and one hundred years old.

In The Girl Who Smiled Beads, Clemantine provokes us to look beyond the label of “victim” and recognize the power of the imagination to transcend even the most profound injuries and aftershocks. Devastating yet beautiful, and bracingly original, it is a powerful testament to her commitment to constructing a life on her own terms. Continue reading “#Nonfiction Book Review: The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clemantine Wamariya & Elizabeth Weil”

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#Nonfiction Book Review: A False Report: A True Story of Rape in America by T. Christian Miller & Ken Armstrong

A False Report - A True Story of Rape in America

*Thanks for the free book, Crown Publishing; it’s my pleasure to be a part of your monthly book send programme and provide honest reviews for the titles chosen*

As is evident from the title, this book may contain triggers for some people.

bookdescription

Two Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists tell the riveting true story of Marie, a teenager who was charged with lying about having been raped, and the detectives who followed a winding path to arrive at the truth.

On August 11, 2008, eighteen-year-old Marie reported that a masked man broke into her apartment near Seattle, Washington, and raped her. Within days police and even those closest to Marie became suspicious of her story. The police swiftly pivoted and began investigating Marie. Confronted with inconsistencies in her story and the doubts of others, Marie broke down and said her story was a lie—a bid for attention. Police charged Marie with false reporting, and she was branded a liar.

More than two years later, Colorado detective Stacy Galbraith was assigned to investigate a case of sexual assault. Describing the crime to her husband that night, Galbraith learned that the case bore an eerie resemblance to a rape that had taken place months earlier in a nearby town. She joined forces with the detective on that case, Edna Hendershot, and the two soon discovered they were dealing with a serial rapist: a man who photographed his victims, threatening to release the images online, and whose calculated steps to erase all physical evidence suggested he might be a soldier or a cop. Through meticulous police work the detectives would eventually connect the rapist to other attacks in Colorado—and beyond.

Based on investigative files and extensive interviews with the principals, A False Report is a serpentine tale of doubt, lies, and a hunt for justice, unveiling the disturbing truth of how sexual assault is investigated today—and the long history of skepticism toward rape victims. Continue reading “#Nonfiction Book Review: A False Report: A True Story of Rape in America by T. Christian Miller & Ken Armstrong”

Book Review: Macbeth by Jo Nesbø (Hogarth Shakespeare)

Macbeth - Jo Nesbo

*Thanks for the free book, Crown Publishing; it’s my pleasure to be a part of your monthly book send programme and provide honest reviews for the titles chosen*

Fun fact: I played Lady Macbeth in a school play, so when it comes to Shakespeare’s plays, Macbeth is my favourite.

bookdescription

Set in the 1970s in a run-down, rainy industrial town, Jo Nesbo’s Macbeth centers around a police force struggling to shed an incessant drug problem. Duncan, chief of police, is idealistic and visionary, a dream to the townspeople but a nightmare for criminals. The drug trade is ruled by two drug lords, one of whom—a master of manipulation named Hecate—has connections with the highest in power, and plans to use them to get his way.

Hecate’s plot hinges on steadily, insidiously manipulating Inspector Macbeth: the head of SWAT and a man already susceptible to violent and paranoid tendencies. What follows is an unputdownable story of love and guilt, political ambition, and greed for more, exploring the darkest corners of human nature, and the aspirations of the criminal mind. Continue reading “Book Review: Macbeth by Jo Nesbø (Hogarth Shakespeare)”

Book Review: The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor

The Chalk Man - C.J. Tudor

*Thanks for the free book @CrownPublishing; it’s my pleasure to be a part of your monthly book send progamme and provide honest reviews for the titles chosen*

According to the early reviews for The Chalk Man, it is the must-read book of 2018! Of course, I had to find out for myself…

Book Description:

In 1986, Eddie and his friends are just kids on the verge of adolescence. They spend their days biking around their sleepy little English village and looking for any taste of excitement they can get. The chalk men are their secret code; little chalk stick figures they leave for one another as messages only they can understand. But then a mysterious chalk man leads them right to a dismembered body, and nothing is ever the same.

In 2016, Eddie is fully grown, and thinks he’s put his past behind him. But then he gets a letter in the mail, containing a single chalk stick figure. When it turns out that his friends got the same message, they think it could be a prank . . . until one of them turns up dead. That’s when Eddie realizes that saving himself means finally figuring out what really happened all those years ago. Continue reading “Book Review: The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor”

Book Review: The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State by Nadia Murad #nonfictionnovember

The Last Girl - Nadia Murad

*Thanks for the free book, @CrownPublishing; it’s my pleasure to be a part of your monthly book send programme and provide honest reviews for the titles chosen*

As it’s Non-fiction November, I thought it the apt time to read The Last Girl.

From the back cover:

In this intimate memoir of survival, a former captive of the Islamic State tells her harrowing and ultimately inspiring story.

Nadia Murad was born and raised in Kocho, a small village of farmers and shepherds in northern Iraq. A member of the Yazidi community, she and her brothers and sisters lived a quiet life. Nadia had dreams of becoming a history teacher or opening her own beauty salon.

On August 15th, 2014, when Nadia was just twenty-one years old, this life ended. Islamic State militants massacred the people of her village, executing men who refused to convert to Islam and women too old to become sex slaves. Six of Nadia’s brothers were killed, and her mother soon after, their bodies swept into mass graves. Nadia was taken to Mosul and forced, along with thousands of other Yazidi girls, into the ISIS slave trade.

Nadia would be held captive by several militants and repeatedly raped and beaten. Finally, she managed a narrow escape through the streets of Mosul, finding shelter in the home of a Sunni Muslim family whose eldest son risked his life to smuggle her to safety.

Today, Nadia’s story–as a witness to the Islamic State’s brutality, a survivor of rape, a refugee, a Yazidi–has forced the world to pay attention to the ongoing genocide in Iraq. It is a call to action, a testament to the human will to survive, and a love letter to a lost country, a fragile community, and a family torn apart by war. Continue reading “Book Review: The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State by Nadia Murad #nonfictionnovember”