Year 5, Book 42

42. Strength in What Remains: A Journey of Remembrance and Forgiveness by Tracy Kidder
Strength in What Remains is the true story of Deo, who escapes from Burundi during a civil war between the Hutus and Tutsis. I heard a lot about the fighting between these two groups in Rwanda, but was really not aware of the war that occurred between them for slightly different reasons in neighboring Burundi. The book begins with Deo’s escape to New York and chronicles his life as he tries to settle there. It is heartbreaking to read of the condition he lives in and the life he, a former medical student in Burundi, is reduced to. Eventually a nun he meets takes him under her wing, which eventually provides him with much great opportunities and an eventual return to medical school in the United States. Deo eventually begins working for Partners in Health where the author, Kidder, meets him while writing his book Mountains Beyond Mountains. The second half of the story kind of shifts focus with Kidder switching from talking the third person telling Deo’s story to writing about his experiences with Deo including going back to Africa and tracing his experiences during the genocide. It is a very compelling story. I give it a 7 out of 10.

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