Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Left to Tell: Discovering God amidst the Rwandan Holocaust, Immaculee Ilbagiza

In this book, the horrors of the Rwandan holocaust are the backdrop for this woman's process of making God the center of her life. When faced with seemingly impossible odds--hiding in a bathroom while killers call her name in the next room, walking down a road surrounded by machete-wielding killers--she forces herself to replace the hate and fear in her heart with God's love.

She says, "God is the source of all positive energy, and prayer is the best way to tap into his power." At some points she prays for 20 hours a day, and in the end, succeeds in forgiving her tormenters so she can build a new life of peace, optimism, and hope.

Yes, the subject matter is terrible, but I highly recommed this book. It's a short, fast, exhilarating, and empowering read; I could hardly put it down once I began. Ilibagiza describes her relationship with God in a style that's a bit different from Mormons', but I can recognize the truth of her quest to make God's love infuse her life. I've spent the afternoon pondering how I can do the same.


  1. thanks! I do like to follow your book recommendations, the last one was so good! (three cups...) Here's one for you: Persepolis. I know it's a movie too, haven't seen, but I really loved the book.

  2. Mary, I saw Caroline with that book at Aspen Grove this summer. Thanks for the recommendation.

  3. I wish I'd seen this before we settled on our 2009 reading list for LCW, the Literary Club of Washington. (Which consists of me and a bunch of my friends.) Also known as the Gliterary Club, since one of our kids couldn't pronounce "literary."

    Also I wish I hadn't just discovered your school "system." We definitely have homework issues!

  4. This was our book for November in my book club. Amazing. One of the things that struck me was realizing that all this was going on while I was sitting over here in America starting to raise a new little family, worrying mostly about not getting enough sleep...I remember hearing bits about Rwanda on the news, but I never(sadly)put much thought into realizing my blessings our their hardships at the time.

  5. Oh dear. Now I really have to read this. My grandma gave me her copy and it has been on my counter for months while I read great review after great review. One of these days...

  6. I've heard so much about this book. Although I've always avoided it because I didn't think I'd like such a negative subject (i.e. Rwandan holocaust). I may have to give it a try.

    Mary, I enjoyed Persepolis, at least the first. The second one seemed a bit whinny. Did you read both parts of it?