Broken Memory: A Novel of Rwandaby Elisabeth Combres
Hiding behind the old sofa, five-year-old Emma does not witness the murder of her mother, but she hears everything. And when the assassins finally leave, the young Tutsi girl somehow manages to stumble away from the scene, motivated only by the memory of her mother’s last words: “You must not die, Emma!” Taken in by an old Hutu woman,… See more details below
Hiding behind the old sofa, five-year-old Emma does not witness the murder of her mother, but she hears everything. And when the assassins finally leave, the young Tutsi girl somehow manages to stumble away from the scene, motivated only by the memory of her mother’s last words: “You must not die, Emma!” Taken in by an old Hutu woman, Mukecuru, Emma is still haunted by nightmares long after the war ends. When the country establishes gacaca courts to allow victims to face their tormenters in their villages, Emma is uneasy and afraid. But through her growing friendship with a young torture victim and the gentle encouragement of an old man charged with helping child survivors, Emma finds the courage to return to the house where her mother was killed and begin the journey to healing.
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Broken Memory is a historical fiction book because it is set in a historical time period in Rwanda's history, but it is not entirely true. This scenario most likely happened to a few people in the Genocide. The Genocide was a war between the two different ethnicities, Tutsi and Hutu. Mainly the Hutus' were killing innocent Tutsi people. One very important event that happens in the story is when Emma, the main character's mother is killed while Emma is hiding behind the couch. Emma does not see her mother's murder, but she hears it, all of it. When Emma knows the Hutu murderers are gone, she immediately left her home and ran. Every night she hid and slept in bushes. Emma soon realized how hungry she was and she decided to stop and an old woman's house. She begged the old woman to let her stay with her for a while, and the lady generously allowed her to stay with her even though they were both completely different. Emma was a Tutsi and the old woman was a Hutu. The old woman protected Emma throughout all of the Genocide and she survived through it, but Emma is still haunted from the day her mother was murdered. The setting of the book Broken Memory is a Rwandan village and it takes place in the early '90's and 2005. The main characters of Broken Memory are Emma, The old woman (Mukecuru), Ndoli, and the old man at the clinic. All these characters benefit a very important impact on the story. My opinion on this book is that is was an excellent read. I simply couldn't put it down. It was interesting to see how Emma's life changed and how her memories returned. I would recommend this book to people ages 12 and up only because of the beginning when Emma's mother dies and it might be a bit haunting to younger kids. I think many adults would enjoy book.
I loved this book very discriptive.
I just had to read this book for my school, and I thought that it was one of the best that I have ever read!!