Cover to Cover Book Club
- Date: 10/10/2019 10:30 AM
- Location: Mizell Senior Center
480 S. Sunrise Way
Palm Springs, California 92262
Cover to Cover Book Club
This month’s book is The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil. Check the website for all book selections. The meeting begins at 10:30 a.m. at the Mizell Senior Center at 480 S. Sunrise Way in Palm Springs.
The group meets the 2nd Thursday of every month from 10:30 -11:30 a.m. The Mizell Senior center is located on the corner of Sunrise and Ramon at 480 S. Sunrise Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262. For more information visit the Mizell Senior Center's website or call 760-323-5689.
October 10, 2019
The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil
—A New York Times Bestseller
—“The plot provided by the universe was filled with starvation, war and rape. I would not—could not—live in that tale.”
Clemantine Wamariya was six years old when her mother and father began to speak in whispers, when neighbors began to disappear, and when she heard the loud, ugly sounds her brother said were thunder. In 1994, she and her fifteen-year-old sister, Claire, fled the Rwandan massacre and spent the next six years migrating through seven African countries, searching for safety—perpetually hungry, imprisoned and abused, enduring and escaping refugee camps, finding unexpected kindness, witnessing inhuman cruelty. They did not know whether their parents were dead or alive.
When Clemantine was twelve, she and her sister were granted refugee status in the United States; there, in Chicago, their lives diverged. Though their bond remained unbreakable, Claire, who had for so long protected and provided for Clemantine, was a single mother struggling to make ends meet, while Clemantine was taken in by a family who raised her as their own. She seemed to live the American dream: attending private school, taking up cheerleading, and, ultimately, graduating from Yale. Yet the years of being treated as less than human, of going hungry and seeing death, could not be erased. She felt at the same time six years old and one hundred years old.
In The Girl Who Smiled Beads, Clemantine provokes us to look beyond the label of “victim” and recognize the power of the imagination to transcend even the most profound injuries and aftershocks. Devastating yet beautiful, and bracingly original, it is a powerful testament to her commitment to constructing a life on her own terms.
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