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Running the Rift | [Naomi Benaron]

Running the Rift

agine that a man who was once friendly suddenly spewed hatred. That a girl who flirted with you in the lunchroom refused to look at you. That your coach secretly trained soldiers who would hunt down your family. Jean Patrick Nkuba is a gifted Tutsi boy who dreams of becoming Rwanda’s first Olympic medal contender in track. When the killing begins, he is forced to flee, leaving behind the woman, the family, and the country he loves. Finding them again is the race of his life.
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Publisher's Summary

Imagine that a man who was once friendly suddenly spewed hatred. That a girl who flirted with you in the lunchroom refused to look at you. That your coach secretly trained soldiers who would hunt down your family. Jean Patrick Nkuba is a gifted Tutsi boy who dreams of becoming Rwanda’s first Olympic medal contender in track. When the killing begins, he is forced to flee, leaving behind the woman, the family, and the country he loves. Finding them again is the race of his life.

Spanning ten years during which a small nation was undone by ethnic tension and Africa’s worst genocide in modern times, this novel explores the causes and effects of Rwanda’s great tragedy from Nkuba’s point of view. His struggles teach us that the power of love and the resilience of the human spirit can keep us going and ultimately lead to triumph.

©2011 Naomi Benaron. Recorded by arrangement with Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, a division of Workman Publishing Company, Inc. (P)2011 HighBridge Company

What the Critics Say

“The politics will be familiar to those who have followed Africa’s crises (or seen Hotel Rwanda), but where Benaron shines is in her tender descriptions of Rwandan’s natural beauty and in her creation of Jean Patrick, a hero whose noble innocence and genuine human warmth are impossible not to love.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Benaron accomplishes the improbable feat of wringing genuine loveliness from unspeakable horror . . . It is a testament to Benaron’s skill that a novel about genocide . . . conveys so profoundly the joys of family, friendship, and community.” (Publishers Weekly)

“First novelist Benaron, who has actively worked with refugee groups, won the 2010 Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction for this unflinching and beautifully crafted account of a people and their survival. In addition, she compellingly details the growth and rigorous training of a young athlete. VERDICT Readers who do not shy away from depictions of violence will find this tale of social justice a memorable read, and those interested in coming-of-age stories set in wartime will want it as well. Highly recommended.” (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (11 )
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  •  
    Susan SARASOTA, FL, United States 02-10-13
    Susan SARASOTA, FL, United States 02-10-13 Member Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Poor read"
    Would you try another book from Naomi Benaron and/or Marcel Davis?

    No, the writing tried to be narrative and fails. At times history points seem to come out of nowhere.


    What was most disappointing about Naomi Benaron’s story?

    The uneven writing


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator has a monitone voice I found annoying, about half way thru this I was ready to give up but kept hoping it would get better, it didn't.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It does inform people about what went on in Rwanda,but it does so in such a way that it is hard to follow even if you know the history.


    Any additional comments?

    This is the lowest rating I have even given a book on audible, I would not suggest it to my bookclub.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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