Jul 09, 08
Read in June, 2008
This was one of three books recently given to me by my father, who seems to think that I need to expand my horizons (the other two were a novel about post-Civil War slave ownership and a memoir by a Haitian immigrant). Point taken, Dad. Anyway, I enjoyed this and I feel that I learned from it, though it's difficult to articulate exactly *what* I learned. I suppose there's just something enlightening about reading your way through someone's life, especially when it's been so thoroughly different than your own. I was disappointed by how abruptly the book ended, and felt that Beah could have used more editorial guidance in terms of how his story was structured. After so many chapters of constant danger and emotional turmoil, the final page felt so little like an ending that I was confused to find myself with nothing left to read. This is, I think, a strange aftertaste that comes with reading memoir: I always wonder where the person is now, in a way that I don't have to with a fictional character.