Meredith's Reviews > Running the Rift

Running the Rift by Naomi Benaron
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's review
May 25, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: historical-fiction
Read from May 25 to June 05, 2012

Over the past year, I have read several books concerning the ongoing civil wars in Africa. I am always shocked at how little I have been aware of the conflicts going on in the world during my lifetime, particularly those going on in Africa. This book dealt with the conflict between the Hutu and Tutsi tribes during the early 1990's. I find it interesting that I was aware of the conflict occurring in Bosnia around the same time period, but much less aware of the conflict addressed in this book. Often in the story, it is mentioned that the Tutsi people did not understand how the United Nations were not coming to their rescue; time and time again, the U.N. intervened only enough to pluck citizens of other nations out of harm's way, rather than offer the kind of support that would have ended the violence.

I found myself having a difficult time engaging with this book for the first 100 to 150 pages. The pace is very slow, and it feels that the author did that intentionally. Once I became used to the pacing, however, I found myself much more involved with the story. The plot centers around a Tutsi runner pursuing his dream of running track on an Olympic level. However, the conflict interferes with those dreams, and he is forced to question his identity and his loyalty. The story becomes one of willpower and survival among insurmountable odds.

I would recommend this book to those who have an interest in global history. It was a book that sent me looking for additional information, and also increased my interest in gaining more understanding about a piece of history that occurred during my lifetime.

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