This is a collection of stories about children from various African countries. There is an interview with the author on goodreads videos ... Interview...moreThis is a collection of stories about children from various African countries. There is an interview with the author on goodreads videos ... Interview with Uwem Akpan and there once was an Oprah video blog about one of the stories. The Oprah video was disabled, but I found it on YouTube ... An Ex-Mas Feast
Oprah picked this book for her book club and discusses the story "An Ex-Mas Feast." This story is about a child prostitute who is working to help support her family and buy supplies for her brother to go to school. They live in poverty and sniff glue to keep hunger pains away. It is heartbreaking, but an eye-opener. Oprah comments on how she never really considered that prostitutes had families, and how since she read that story now she will always wonder what life for these women and girls is like at home. Another story deals with child trafficking ... where an uncle left to care for his small niece and young nephew after the parents develop AIDS, sells them for a motorcycle. Other stories relate to religious conflicts between Muslims and Christians. But the one story that affected me the most was "My Parents' Bedroom" told by a Rwandan girl. Having seen footage of the genocide, I guess the horror was more vivid to me.
The outcome for all of these scenarios was grim and disturbing, but I believe it is necessary to know about other world realities. A look at other cultures and beliefs helps me appreciate, even more, the freedom and prosperity we enjoy as Americans. (less)
This author is now on my list of all-time favorites! After reading my first Kingsolver novel, I am adding others to my ever growing list of books to r...moreThis author is now on my list of all-time favorites! After reading my first Kingsolver novel, I am adding others to my ever growing list of books to read. I love her way with words, and the unique voice she gives to each of her characters.
This story is told from the viewpoints of a mother and her four daughters, and begins when the family is uprooted by the father’s calling to missionary work in Africa, the heart of the dark continent. I learned a lot about the country and the politics of the time.
The loss of Ruth May broke my heart … I felt Orleanna’s pain. Adah also claimed my sympathy, as she was the one always left behind, although her physical defects had nothing on her intellectual development. I would compare myself mostly to Leah. She took on the culture and made it her own. I could relate to her best. Then there’s Rachel … she being the oldest child probably had the hardest time of all. The loss of her American life may have contributed to her selfish conceit. Life was not fair to her, and the direction her father led the family, took her away from everything all teenage girls dream of.
Another reviewer mentioned it took a long time to finish this book … not because it was hard to get through, but because each page needed to be savored. I know what this means … I absorbed the book slowly with pleasure and recommend it to all. (less)