Rachel's Reviews > Running the Rift

Running the Rift by Naomi Benaron
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's review
Apr 09, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: africa
Read from March 30 to April 09, 2012

Benaron's writing is stunning. Her words immerse the reader in life in Rwanda, the individual homes, markets, cafes, and landscapes. Her words evoke textures, colors, sights, smells; one can feel the lush damp of the rainy season and envision the deep color of Lake Kivu against a backdrop of green hills.

Knowing the book is about Rwanda, one expects tragedy, the book would be false if this were not woven into the story. Through Benaron's characters, she shares the humanity of the people of Rwanda along with the hatred. She reminds that there are no winners in a war. She shows that life goes on in the midst of extreme circumstances; despite checkpoints and curfews, people continue to live and love, to appreciate what they have instead of dwelling on what is lost.

At the end of the story, I had to remind myself that Benaron herself is not Rwandan. She writes as an outsider looking in. Her acknowledgements credit a host of people whose stories are remembered in ways through the book. It is their voices that bring the story to life.
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