I haven’t posted recently, due to our trip back to the US, but I’ve been reading a ton! As such, I’m going to have a few book reviews to post this week. First up is:
The publisher’s description reads: “Running the Rift follows the progress of Jean Patrick Nkuba from the day he knows that running will be his life to the moment he must run to save his life. A naturally gifted athlete, he sprints over the thousand hills of Rwanda and dreams of becoming his country’s first Olympic medal winner in track. But Jean Patrick is a Tutsi in a world that has become increasingly restrictive and violent for his people. As tensions mount between the Hutu and Tutsi, he holds fast to his dream that running might deliver him, and his people, from the brutality around them.“
Why I picked it up:
I downloaded this book because it was on the $1.99 Kindle rack one day last month. I was a bit leery, as you never know if sale books are discounted because they can’t sell them otherwise… In this case, I was so happy I made the purchase!
A warning: this book is long. Why do I always pick these super long books to read on the Kindle app on my phone? I also read Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption that way, which is another 400+ page whopper (and translates into thousands of screens). Ironically, both are tales of Olympic hopefuls overcoming savage brutality in times of war.
I kept thinking the book was based on a true story, because it just feels so real. While the actual characters and situations are fictitious, the storyline follows historical events as they played out in Rwanda in the last few decades of the twentieth century. The author spent time working with genocide survivor groups in Rwanda, and clearly gained an astute understanding of what they endured.
I love books that push me to learn about a culture, country, time frame, or event, and this book did just that. I found myself deeply involved with the characters, feeling compassion, pain, desperation, and then hope at various times throughout the story. I was also inspired, horrified, relieved, and encouraged, as I grew in awareness alongside Jean Patrick.
Why you should read it:
The genocide happening throughout the world today affects us all, even if we try to ignore it. Books like this help personalize the problem, so we can all identify with it — and hopefully seek solutions — no matter where we live.