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When the Stars Fall to Earth: A Novel of Africa | [Rebecca Tinsley]

When the Stars Fall to Earth: A Novel of Africa

When the Stars Fall to Earth is the story of five young Darfuris trying to make sense of their changing world in a time of war. Their lives come together in a tale of love and loss, self-reliance and courage, fear and violence. They overcome the ultimate challenge: to become proud survivors with a future rather than defeated victims, despite the tragedy enveloping them.
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Publisher's Summary

When the Stars Fall to Earth is the story of five young Darfuris trying to make sense of their changing world in a time of war. Their lives come together in a tale of love and loss, self-reliance and courage, fear and violence. They overcome the ultimate challenge: to become proud survivors with a future rather than defeated victims, despite the tragedy enveloping them.

Based on true stories told to human-rights journalist and activist Rebecca Tinsley. Ms. Tinsley has worked in nine African countries. Together with her husband, Henry, she was asked by President and Mrs. Carter to found the Carter Center UK. She is a tireless advocate for human rights around the world. 50% of all proceeds from this audiobook are donated to Network for Africa's projects with survivors of genocide.

©2011 Rebecca Tinsley (P)2013 Hamm & Clov Stage Company

What the Critics Say

"Young people in Darfur have had their lives stolen away from them whilst the world has watched. Rebecca's book takes us on their journey and lets us listen to their unbelievable stories, encouraging all of us to act to ensure that the people of Darfur can live in peace and dignity." (Sir Richard Branson)

"[Rebecca Tinsley's] book When the Stars Fall to Earth is a gripping, honest, and ultimately life-changing tale. It is a wake-up call to all who read it, and a reminder that the worst sin we as Americans and Westerners can commit is to turn away, close our eyes and ears, and fail to act in the face of such suffering." (Kathleen Tobin Krueger, wife of Ambassador Robert Krueger)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (70 )
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4.3 (63 )
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Performance
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  •  
    P. Burdge 04-17-13
    P. Burdge 04-17-13

    wordrioter

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "International Disgrace: Our Disinterest in Darfur"

    I chose this listen because the situation in Darfur has dropped off the radar again, and I was curious to learn more. I knew that there is now a North Sudan and a South Sudan, but this story tells so much more - how it came to be and describes the lives of families who have endured the unbelievable horror in which these people live.

    Why DON'T we care? Is it because it is a civil war between mostly Arab Muslims in the north of Sudan and Black African Muslims in the south?

    I am ashamed and appalled that the international community essentially continues to ignore the devastation in the Sudan.

    Be warned, this book is graphic and the truth is not pretty to hear.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rochelle Dunedin, New Zealand 01-05-14
    Rochelle Dunedin, New Zealand 01-05-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Disappointing"

    I really wanted to read this to learn more about the situation in Darfur. I enjoy supplementing news & non-fiction with fiction stories as they can provide wonderful perspective when the author has spent time in the country as Rebecca Tinsley has.

    This was listed under literature, which it certainly isn't. The language used to tell the story seems childlike - not simple in a good way. In fact sometimes there is too much.

    I felt unable to relate to any of the characters, or to feel anything for them. All I felt was annoyance with the author for having done such a poor job of telling their story. Her characters deserved better from her.

    The issues the book is dealing with are incredibly important & need to be told. But this is not the author for the job. For good examples I'd suggested Katherine Boo (non-fiction), Khaled Hosseini and Anthony Marra.

    The sound quality of the recording was fine. The voices chosen for the characters were not great. Some of the voices sounded so unrealistic it made connecting with the character even harder. It distracted even further from the poor writing. From both a story & narrative perspective it felt like listening to a children's book.

    Overall this was a particular letdown as I am not aware of any other fiction based around the issues in Darfur. This is it & it doesn't live up to expectations.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 12-24-13
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 12-24-13 Member Since 2010

    I am an avid eclectic reader.

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    "When will we learn?"

    I was in Sudan in 1972 with the United Nation World Health team for the drought and famine, starvation in the area when the Sudanese-Libyan conflict arose. The area is so poor and drought and famine in a recurrent theme. My time spent in the Sudan gave me a good understanding about the stories told in the book, I heard the same stories in 1972. The last thing the area needs in ethnic cleansing. The Arabic war lords of the area are attempting to remove all black Africans Muslims from the Sudan. So far approximately 3 million people have died in the conflict in Sudan this total also includes the area of Sudan called Darfur. The book is fiction but the author had been in Darfur in 2004 and listened to the stories of women in the camps. I think she was correct in choosing fiction as a way to tell their stories verses non-fiction. In the Muslim world women are second class citizen and in time of war rape of women is a tool of war to destroy a people’s basic social fabric. The Arabic war lords are selling captured blacks into slavery those not acceptable for slavery are killed. The book is well written and the strong women characters will grip your attention. The book tells a story that needs to be told and unfortunately the conflict is still ongoing today along with drought and famine. The U.N. camps are overcrowded. The story in this book continues. I enjoyed the author’s comments at the end of the book. Holly Villaire does a fantastic job narrating the story. This is a must read book for people to help understand the human rights problems of the world today.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judith Schiffer 09-15-13

    Say something about yourself!

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    "Narrator falls to earth"
    Would you be willing to try another one of Holly Villaire’s performances?

    No. She was fine in overall narration but when it came to male characters, she was just awful. They all sounded exactly the same, and they all shouted their lines like fishmongers.
    I could not finish listening to this book because of this.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolyn J. Branch Atlanta, Georgia United States 04-16-13
    Carolyn J. Branch Atlanta, Georgia United States 04-16-13
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    "an amazing book!"
    Would you listen to When the Stars Fall to Earth again? Why?

    Yes


    What did you like best about this story?

    This is a brilliant book.. It held my attention completely as all wonderful stories do. The characters were not only real, they were totally fleshed out and interesting people. I felt
    caught up in a world that captivated me from the first sentence.


    If you could rename When the Stars Fall to Earth, what would you call it?

    The title is perfect for this book.


    Any additional comments?

    Get the book! Read it or listen to it....just go for it. Few books take you into such an absorbing world as this excellent book does.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sophie BRIXTON, United Kingdom 03-30-13
    Sophie BRIXTON, United Kingdom 03-30-13
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    "Fantastic book - a must listen!"
    Where does When the Stars Fall to Earth rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It is a fantastic book and translates very well as an audio book. It's a compelling story, so sad, but a story with many strong and resilient characters it becomes uplifting


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story is so tragic, detailing the devastating effect war has on lives of innocent people, yet also manages to describe uplifting individual stories of bravery and the strength and courage that people show during bleak times. A fantastic book, well worth listening to


    Have you listened to any of Holly Villaire’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It was very sad, made me well up in some parts, but smile in others - that's the sign of a great book


    Any additional comments?

    A must listen - relevant and excellent

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martha GOLETA, CA, United States 03-29-13
    Martha GOLETA, CA, United States 03-29-13
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    "ESSENTIAL READING ON DARFUR"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. This is the best book on the genocide in Darfur that I ever read. It's crafted with the pacing and intricate plot of a novel, but the information is clearly a firsthand account of a journalist.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story itself is compeling, but the characters are vivid and real. You cannot read these pages without understanding the complex tragedy of Darfur. You cry with the characters both in the tragedy and in their victories.


    Have you listened to any of Holly Villaire’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, I have never listened to one of her other performances.


    If you could take any character from When the Stars Fall to Earth out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    My first thought would be Zara who survives and comes to the United States to tell others of what she has lived through, but I think Hawa because she shows the most courage of all of the characters and she starts with no sense of self and grows into a survivor who will be a catalyst for change.


    Any additional comments?

    It's one of the best books I've ever read--and I'm an avid reader. I read it and have listened to the the audio. Both experiences are worth the time it takes. I will listen to it again and again.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Y. Madison, MS, United States 04-10-13
    Y. Madison, MS, United States 04-10-13 Member Since 2012
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    "A must read"
    What did you love best about When the Stars Fall to Earth?

    A compelling true story full of strong will, determination and resilience. Can only imagine the agony of the considered outcast of Darfur!


    What other book might you compare When the Stars Fall to Earth to and why?

    I really have not read anything else this poignant. I have read other books about the cruelty in Africa but none so horrendous.


    Which character – as performed by Holly Villaire – was your favorite?

    Hawa, Zara, Mary and Amed. There were others but these fought against all odds.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Genocide, it's real!


    Any additional comments?

    This was a well written and expressed book about a disease that is real and affecting real people even today. Listening to this book really took me out of my comfort zone.
    Great book for the world to read and learn!!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon K. Sutton Santa Barbara 04-03-13
    Sharon K. Sutton Santa Barbara 04-03-13

    Intellectual property champion

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    "A must-read for females around the globe."

    This novel in print delivers a story that is both visceral and poignant. The characters dramatize the dehumanization spottily reported in other media around the globe. The addition of voice deepens the ethos. As a BBC journalist who witnessed these atrocities, the author and narrator capture the evil spells the Powers cast in their warfare.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Pointer Milwaukee, WI 03-29-13
    D. Pointer Milwaukee, WI 03-29-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Compelling!"
    If you could sum up When the Stars Fall to Earth in three words, what would they be?

    Global novel, human themes


    What other book might you compare When the Stars Fall to Earth to and why?

    What is the What, Dave Eggers. The books both deal with contemporary themes of war-riven Africa.


    Which scene was your favorite?


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 19 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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  • Jenny Davidson
    Brighton
    7/4/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "brilliantly written and totally engaging"
    Where does When the Stars Fall to Earth rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best audiobooks I have listened to, very engaging, very moving, well read


    What did you like best about this story?

    The reality of the stories, interwoven but individualistic. Hard to listen to at times but reality of the devastation that humans inflict upon each other should never be an easy read. Enough detail to make it personal but not media style over emotive.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    absolutely


    Any additional comments?

    A very well written and read book. Credit to the author and those with the courage to tell their stories.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mark
    London, United Kingdom
    3/27/13
    Overall
    "When the Stars Fall to Earth - what do YOU do?"

    Well, some brave souls try and put them back in the sky. And some clever souls then manage to write about it. Make no mistake, this is no easy read, but it is a well-written, full-on and engaging account of the horrors that happen to minorities, especially women, when an authoritarian, ruthless and inhumane regime takes power and abuses it. It's a duty to read it. It's then a duty to do something about it, however great or small. Put your own little star back in the sky.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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