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Small Country
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November 2018: Literary Fiction > Small Country - Gael Faye - 4 stars

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Susie | 4488 comments I discovered this short novel as it is on the Tournament of Books longlist. I was available at my library so I thought I'd give it a whirl. A coming of age story set during the Burundian Civil War, Small Country has pros and cons, but ultimately enough pros for me to feel it was worthy of a four star rating. I learnt a lot about a topic I knew little about, but given that the topic is one that should be emotional, I did feel disconnected. It did do a great job of highlighting the contrasts of the protagonist's life before the war and after. It read a little like a YA novel, but I believe that to be intentional. It seemed to me as though the author was trying to highlight how innocence is destroyed in countries that are ravaged by civil unrest. There were flashes of brilliance in the writing, and all in all I thought it was a worthy read.

Tracy (tstan) | 1197 comments I liked this one, too. I know very little about what happened in Rwanda, and I’d like to learn more. I thought the characters were done well- yet a bit detached- I think this was intentional, written from a young person’s point of view. I agree there were flashes of brilliance in the writing-I look forward to more by him.
This book should come with a warning label for ugly crying: Do not read in public!

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