Photo credit: AFAR magazine

The Girl Who Smiled Beads* is both a revealing and introspective memoir by Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil.

The book shifts from past and present frequently; Wamariya’s past as a refugee who moves through more than seven African countries before she and her older sister arrive in the United States, and the internal and physical challenges and tragedies of survival and of a life suspended.

In the present narrative, Wamariya struggles to reconcile how her turbulent past has shaped her into the woman she is now, and the person she wishes to be.  

Read this for a first-person perspective on the consequences of war – the 1994 Rwandan genocide, specifically – and the complicated relationships we have with our family and our selves.

Rwanda travel

For further reading, I enjoyed this story from AFAR magazine that considers a Rwanda as a travel destination in the decades following the conflict. The New York Times’ travel section also published a 36-hour itinerary of Kigali, Rwanda’s capital city.

*Some links are affiliate links, which mean that if you sign-up or purchase I may get some perks, but all opinions and product selections are my own.