A haunting, beautiful first novel by the best-selling author of A Long Way Gone. When Ishmael Beah's A Long Way Gone was published in 2007, it soared to the top of best-seller lists, becoming an instant classic: a harrowing account of Sierra Leone's civil war and the fate of child soldiers that "everyone in the world should listen to". (The Washington Post). Now Beah, whom Dave Eggers has called, "arguably the most listened-to African writer in contemporary literature", has returned with his first novel, an affecting, tender parable about postwar life in Sierra Leone.
At the center of Radiance of Tomorrow are Benjamin and Bockarie, two longtime friends who return to their hometown, Imperi, after the civil war. The village is in ruins, the ground covered in bones. As more villagers begin to come back, Benjamin and Bockarie try to forge a new community by taking up their former posts as teachers, but they're beset by obstacles: a scarcity of food; a rash of murders, thievery, rape, and retaliation; and the depredations of a foreign mining company intent on sullying the town's water supply and blocking its paths with electric wires. As Benjamin and Bockarie search for a way to restore order, they're forced to reckon with the uncertainty of their past and future alike.
With the gentle lyricism of a dream and the moral clarity of a fable, Radiance of Tomorrow is a powerful audiobook about preserving what means the most to us, even in uncertain times.
©2014 Ishmael Beah (P)2013 Macmillan Audio
"Dion Graham skillfully balances his presentation of this harrowing novel by the author of the bestselling memoir A LONG WAY GONE. The story is set in modern-day Sierra Leone after the civil war. Graham's lyrical delivery illustrates Beah's claim that he brings his country's oral tradition to his writing. The written and spoken word are both beautiful and horrifying as the elderly Mama Kadie and Pa Moiwa, along with others, return home to find their town destroyed, the only signs of its former residents the human bones scattered about." (AudioFile)
Ishmael Beah has an excellent "voice". If Radiance of Tomorrow is an example of contemporary Sierra Leone literature I look forward to discovering more.
The book has the feel of a folk tale & is conveyed perfectly in audiobook format. By this I don't mean it is a "simple" story, but the telling conveys something of the culture of the characters in the book. The style of the writing adds depth to the story being told.
If you've read Ishmael Beah's memoir "A Long Way Gone" his novel will seem a lot more personal than many standard works of fiction. If you haven't read his memoir you probably ought to. Regardless, Radiance of Tomorrow stands alone as an incredible work.
The narration is superb. Overall a remarkable book.
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