The Girl who Smiled Beads by Clementine Wamariya

Hello everyone!

This girl has been busy for the past couple days, so I’m sorry about not posting as much as I wished to! I have been able to find some time to set aside to write a review for a novel that I read last week and enjoyed so very much!

I’d like to thank Penguin Canada for providing me a copy of this novel for an honest review! This didn’t effect my opinion in any way!

Alright, let’s jump right into the review!

Release Date: April 24, 201857A4B145-D3F8-4ECA-A524-9D3F3B5400EE.jpeg
Pages: 288 Pages
Publisher: Doubleday Canada

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 wandering 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 asylum in the United States, where she embarked on another journey–to excavate her past and, after years of being made to feel less than human, claim her individuality.

Raw, urgent, and bracingly original, The Girl Who Smiled Beads captures the true costs and aftershocks of war: what is forever destroyed; what can be repaired; the fragility of memory; the disorientation that comes of other people seeing you only as broken–thinking you need, and want, to be saved. But it is about more than the brutality of war. It is about owning your experiences, about the life we create: intricately detailed, painful, beautiful, a work in progress.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

This novel was one that I saw and was immediately interested in reading. The plot drew me in immediately and I knew right then and there that this novel would have a huge impact on me.

This is a non-fiction novel that follows a woman who grew up during the Rwandan massacre in 1994. She then was offered asylum alongside her sister and was able to go to the United States to start her life over.

Throughout this novel we go back and forth between Clementine’s days in Rwanda and her days becoming accustomed to her life in the United States.

This novel was raw, heartbreaking and so very inspiring. It was incredibly hard to read about the horrors that Clementine and her sister went through whilst they traveled across Africa. The treatment of refugee’s in the camps was abhorrent and something that you never would wish upon your worst enemy.

Despite the horrors they suffered, Clementine and her sister were able to survive and create a new life for themselves in the United States.

Throughout this novel I was horrified to see the conditions of the life Clementine was living and the things she went through, I just felt so incredibly lucky to have what I have and to be able to live my life without the same fears. It is really eye opening to see how a lot of the world lives and how there are so many things I take for granted.

I truly thought this novel was one that everyone should pick up, and I definitely recommend watching Clementine’s TED talk, especially if you’re unable to read the book itself.

Click here to watch the TED talk!

All in all, this book was a very heavy read with a lot of information being told and a lot to take in, but that’s what made it such an influential book in my life. I was thoroughly amazed with the strength seen by the individuals in this book and it was wonderful seeing Clementine go on to do wonderful things so she can continue to work on making the world see the things that we choose to ignore.

That concludes my review for The Girl who Smiled Beads by Clementine Wamariya!

Thank you so much for reading and don’t forget to follow my blog as well as my other social media sites!

Until next time,

Rimpy Toor

3 replies on “The Girl who Smiled Beads by Clementine Wamariya”

This book has been on my radar for a few weeks now and I’ve been curious about it – you’re the first blogger that I’ve seen that has reviewed it so thank you for that! This book sounds like an incredible story, I’ll definitely need to see about picking it up sometime this year as I’ve been in a poetry / memoir kick this year. Great review Rimpy!

Also I’m nominating you for The Unique Blogger Award, you can find the link here:


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