Read The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After by Clemantine Wamariya Online

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

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
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780385687003
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 288 pages
Url Type : Home » Download » The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After

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

  • Resh (The Book Satchel)

    I'd recommend this book in a heart beat.

  • 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 powerful the written word can be and how a raw and deeply moving narrative can reach not only our hearts, but leave imprints on our soul.

    I did not understand the point of the word genocide then. I resent it and revile it now. The word is tidy and efficient. It holds no true emotion. It is impersonal w
    ...more

  • Shaylee Jenkins

    Somewhere between 4.5 and 5 stars! I devoured this book in two days! I didn't wanna put it down!

  • Laurie

    The title of the book is based on a story that Clementine's nanny, Mukamana, would tell her. It was about a beautiful, magical girl who roamed the earth, smiling beads, and it was her favorite story. How ironic that Clementine ended up roaming the world.

    The references to different books throughout the memoir is interesting. Clementine read many she could relate to: Night by Ellie Weisel, Sula by Toni Morrison, Infidel by Ayana Hirsi Ali, The Natural History of Destruction and Austerlitz by W.G.
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  • Dawnie



    The word genocide is clinical, overly general, bloodless and dehumanising. "Oh, its like that holocaust?" people would say to me - say to me still.

    To this day I do not know how to respond and be polite.

    No, I want to scream, it's not like the Holocaust. Or the killing fields in Cambodia. Or ethnic cleansing in Bosnia. There's no catchall term that proves you understand.

    There's no label to peel and stick that absolves you, shows you've done your duty, you've completed the moral project of rem
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  • Kate

    3.5/5

    This is a moving memoir about a six year old girl who lives in Rwanda when war breaks out. Her parents send her and her older sister away to live with their grandmother. This book tells their tale as refugees traipsing all across the African continent to survive. Clemantine describes their eventual departure to America and the struggles they encountered there.

  • Eve

    This was an interesting and heartbreaking account of one Rwandan refugee's life during and after the war. As this is a memoir, there wasn't a lot of detail about the conflict itself, but there was some information given when necessary. I did find that the author would reference or hint at something, such as a political statement she wanted to make or something that happened to her, but wouldn't actually flesh it out or outright state what happened. I found myself wanting more analysis as a resul ...more

  • Julia Keizer

    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
    ...more