Broken Memory

A Story of Rwanda

By Elisabeth Combres; Shelley Tanaka (Translator)
(Groundwood Books, Hardcover, 9780888998927, 144pp.)

Publication Date: October 2009

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback

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Description

Hiding behind a chair, five-year-old Emma can’t see her mother being murdered, but she hears everything. When the assassins finally leave, the terrified girl stumbles away from the scene, motivated only by the memory of her mother’s last words: "You must not die, Emma!" Eventually, Emma is taken in by an old Hutu woman who risks her own life to hide the child. A quiet bond grows between the two, but long after the war ends, Emma is still haunted by nightmares. When the country establishes gacaca courts to allow victims to face their tormentors, Emma is uneasy and afraid. But through her growing friendship with a young torture victim and the encouragement of an old man charged with helping child survivors, Emma finds the courage to begin the long journey to healing. Moments of grace and tenderness illuminate this spare, sensitive novel, which tells the story of the 1994 attacks in an age-appropriate manner.

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