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Cast Away: True Stories of Survival from Europe’s Refugee Crisis

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  171 ratings  ·  25 reviews
In 2015, more than one million migrants and refugees, most fleeing war-torn countries in Africa and the Middle East, attempted to make the perilous journey into Europe. Around three thousand lost their lives as they crossed the Mediterranean and Aegean in rickety boats provided by unscrupulous traffickers, including over seven hundred men, women, and children in a single ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 6th 2016 by The New Press
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Tanya Fernandes
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There are certain truths we take for granted. The steadfastness of the house we call a home and the items we acquire to make it a home. The certainty that the family who moves into that home will grow up together and their lives will unfold under that roof, every episodic drama, moments of celebration and the untimely periods of grief and sorrow.

Outside this home,there are other precepts we presume we know for certain. The quotidian neighbourly interactions that involve sharing juicy gossip or
It’s incredible how one should have to ponder whether it would be safer for them to cross the Mediterranean or remain in a country devastated by war (or dictatorship). The increase in the refugees is a direct consequence of 2011, the year of the Arab Spring, hailed by the EU as a revolution against oppressive regimes. Yet “when it came to helping the victims of this noble pursuit of democracy, their [the European countries’] response did not match their rhetoric”. Europe doesn’t seem to remember ...more
Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
A very powerful book. I highly recommend it. An important read.
May 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An eye-opening (literally), shocking, meticulously reported and very well told account of five refugee families converging on Europe in the past five years. She puts their incredibly precarious journeys and stories into the context of movements in their own countries and in Europe that add up to a global refugee crisis. Way more readable than I expected it to be and I learned a ton from it.
Mary Sue
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In my soft comfortable life in the Midwest of USA, I had no idea of the hardships, terror and aloneness of being a refugee. This collection of true stories takes place starting in 2011 with the European Refugee Crisis. African and Arabian civil wars, oppressive dictators and deportations force these people into refuge status. They main characters are: a formerly wealthy orphaned from Nigeria; a doubly educated Syrian; a man avoiding Libya military conscription; educated newlyweds deported from ...more
James Wallace
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book was an incredibly tough read. But I think maybe a necessary one. Today’s leaders have taken a hard stance against refugees. The populace at large, especially Southern Christians, has been overtaken by fear of refugees and a greed shown in their unwillingness to pay taxes to support refugees. I think as Christians we must fight against this stance. Read this book and be reminded that these are real people dying on the Mediterranean and freezing in jail cells and forced to march country ...more
This very timely and emotional topic is pretty thoroughly addressed in this book. I found the profiles of the refugees to be very moving and the factual information to be very disturbing. The book is definitely worth reading yet it's a somewhat slow and dry read. I found it difficult to keep track of the refugees' stories because they were broken up and told in bits and pieces rather than all in one go.
Chelsea Carr
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
An eye-opening look at what refugees go through for a chance at a life free from war. I learned a lot from this book in terms of the various reasons refugees leave (or are forced out of) their homes, and how Europe is responding to (or ignoring) this crisis. Steeped in emotion, this book was often difficult to read due to graphic descriptions of death and suffering.
Wils Cain
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another very timely, horrific collection of stories of people just trying to survive and either losing their lives in the process, essentially locked up in rescue camps, or stuck in red-tape nightmares. Makes me understand the daily news in a very different way now.
Amy Beckhusen
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful economy of language- tells the recent macro history of the migrant crisis since 2011 interspersed with personal stories that are told with incredible detail and empathy- I feel as if I know the protagonists well. Heartbreaking.
Dmitry Chushov
Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Вам будет интересно.
Dale Willis
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book took me quite a bit of time to read.....simply because its a difficult and pretty harrowing read. But these are the stories that need to be told.
Aug 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book provides names and details of the refugee crisis, so I found it compelling.
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: politics
Everyone should read this.
Katja Melander
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm sometimes a bit hesitant when a reporter turns into an author because I think they sometimes have a hard time changing the style of their writing to suit something longer than a few pages. But this book is different. Early on, I got the feeling that the author enjoyed for once having the opportunity to have a genuine opinion on the subject she was writing about. Nevertheless, she doesn't preach; she just states the facts and maybe adds an afterthought even though the facts speak for ...more
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
I think Maya Jasanoff's review on the back cover says it all " A closely reported, passionately argued, often deeply moving account of five refugees' journeys to Europe... it yanks away the anonymous screen of numbers and brings you face to face with real people-- people you can recognize in situations you cant. [Cast Away] mobilize [s] eyewitness testimony to promote empathy, and through empathy, better policy".
Barbara Q
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Aylan Kurdi is the name of the small Syrian child who washed up on a beach in Turkey.

Cast Away is the book I will remember as the most important that I read in 2016.

For those who want to know more, just read the reviews. This book speaks to every single living human being.
Oct 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Personal, heart-wrenching, brave stories from Europe's refugee crisis. I don't know what the solutions are, but for humanity's sake, something must be done.
Dec 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Nov 21, 2016 rated it liked it
3 stars is not bad. Especially for non-fiction. Just clarifying.
Jan 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
An engrossing description of the current European refugee crisis. It mixes stories of individuals and families with pertinent statistics and European, African, and Middle-Eastern history.
Amanda Warner
Dec 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
So, so good. A must read!
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Mar 14, 2018
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Abby Medlin
rated it it was amazing
Jun 01, 2017
Billy Plummer
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May 21, 2017
Elaina Mack
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Aug 19, 2017
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Jun 18, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Mar 13, 2017
Mar 31, 2017 rated it liked it
At times a difficult read, as there is no denying the tragic events that lead to, surround and continue in the lives of refugees from the war torn countries in the middle east and Africa. Nevertheless an important read.

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