For the most part, I read fiction novels. I am a big fan of Stephen King in particular. As much as I love his books and stories, however, I’m finding my TBR pile continuously growing and myself not branching out much. One of my goals this year is to change that and expand my literary horizons. As I read new books, I will share my experiences and opinions here. I think this will be a good way to push myself to read more and to critically think about what I’m reading. Plus, it’s always fun to share new books with people.
At the beginning of the school year I started a new job at a Catholic school as a grade school assistant. All of the grade school teachers were talking about a book by Immaculée Ilibagiza, a Rwandan born Catholic. It was a big deal because she was coming to host a retreat at the home parish of the grade school dean. I kept hearing them talk about how impactful and amazing her story was, and after the retreat, the dean couldn’t stop talking about Immaculée and how much meeting her impacted her. I wanted to see what all the talk was about for myself, so I borrowed the book, Left to Tell, from my mom.
This book is about how Immaculée survived the Rwandan holocaust that took place during their civil war in 1994. She and several other women were hidden and locked inside a tiny bathroom for 91 days, not allowed to speak or move, barely surviving on tiny scraps of food and sips of water. Throughout those three months she held tightly to her father’s rosary and her faith in God. All of her family save one brother were murdered. She now travels the world serving others and telling her story.
I’m only about halfway through the book. She is still trapped in the tiny bathroom. Each page is more heartbreaking than the last, but her hope in God is inspiring. When things go wrong, it can be so easy to turn away from a lifelong faith. It isn’t always easy to find comfort and peace in scriptures that are thousands of years old. Immaculée held true for 91 miserable days; days most of us can’t even begin to fathom suffering through.
I know there is at least one other book she has written and I plan to read it when I finish this one. It is heartbreaking and full of hope at the same time. As I’ve read this, I’ve felt joy, sorrow, pain, and even angry. This emotional journey will take you through it all. If you enjoy any kind of religious testimonials, this is a book for you.
Again, the title is Left to Tell and it was written by Immaculée Ilibagiza with Steve Erwin. A portion of proceeds from her book sales go to her Left to Tell Charitable Fund, which supports Rwandan orphans.