If there is one book you have to read on the atrocities which occurred during the Rwandan genocide, then this is it. “Left to Tell” is a memoir of Immaculee Ilibagiza, a survivor of the genocide, who lost all her family members during this horrifying period.
In 1994, Rwandan native Ilibagiza was 22 years old and home from college to spend Easter with her devout Catholic family, when the death of Rwanda’s Hutu president sparked a three-month slaughter of nearly one million ethnic Tutsis in the country. She survived by hiding in a Hutu pastor’s tiny bathroom with seven other starving women for 91 cramped, terrifying days. This searing firsthand account of Ilibagiza’s experience cuts two ways: her description of the evil that was perpetrated, including the brutal murders of her family members, is soul-numbingly devastating, yet the story of her unquenchable faith and connection to God throughout the ordeal uplifts and inspires.
If there’s one key take home message from this book, it will be the act of forgiving. Just imagine one day waking up and realizing that every single family member you have on earth has been killed. That’s exactly what she had to go through and despite all of that, in the end, she forgave the murderers. Quite amazing.