Thursday, March 18, 2010

Book Review: As We Forgive: Stories of Reconciliation from Rwanda, by Catherine Claire Larson

I have no idea how I found out about this book. But I’m glad I did because I found it fascinating. As most people know, in 1994 more than 800,000 Rwandans were slaughtered in the span of 100 days. Mostly Tutsis killed by Hutus. At the end of it all there were loads more people in the prisons than could be held or tried, so those who confessed to guilt were released. Given the killers were neighbors and friends to Tutsis, this was an excruciatingly difficult situation. This book shares 7 vignettes of reconciliation as the society has been cobbled back together. Each starts from before the conflict telling the story of a Tutsi individual or family and what happened to him or her, through to the process of forgiving a Hutu who had tried to kill him or her and/or had killed family members. Its incredible to think that these 7 stories are only a sliver of the whole picture! I certainly learned a lot more about the Rwandan genocide. Furthermore, this book challenged my idea of how far forgiveness can extend and the power of forgiveness to change hearts and lives. 

No comments: