Lisa J. Shannon had a good life: a successful business, a fiance, a home, and security. Then, one day in 2005, an episode of Oprah changed all that. The show focused on women in Congo, the worst place on earth to be a woman. She was awakened to the atrocities there - millions dead, women raped and tortured daily, and children dying in shocking numbers. Shannon felt called to do something. And she did. A Thousand Sisters is her inspiring memoir.
Shannon raised money to sponsor Congolese women, beginning with one solo 30-mile run, and then founded a national organization, Run for Congo Women. This book chronicles her journey to the Congo to meet the women her run sponsored, and shares their incredible stories. What begins as grassroots activism forces Shannon to confront herself and her life, and learn lessons of survival, fear, gratitude, and immense love from the women of Africa.
I disagree with the previous reviewer. The book begins with the author's own story, but only to help us understand the motivation behind her later work for the women in the DRC. Her travels through Congo, her efforts to help women who have suffered unspeakable tragedies are framed in the context of one American woman's attempts to offer help when so much more is needed that she cannot hope to give.
The atrocities described in this book are heart-stopping, yet so commonplace in Congo that they come across as mundane. The stories of heroism and courage are striking. It's a tough book to get through, but you have the option of taking action. I've been a Women for Women International sponsor for many years. This book gave me a perspective on how my small donation every month helps.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Is there anything you would change about this book?
I believe the story was heartfelt and real. It showed a lot about what the author was going through at the time of her discovery of what others were going through, which was far worse than she could ever imagine. She found a way to help others best that she could and was able to meet many women and learn their stories for herself.
What other book might you compare A Thousand Sisters to and why?
It reminds me of Passport through Darkness by Kimberely Smith. She also went to Africa to an area where children hid in fear of being killed and where women were being raped. It was a story about human trafficking and war as well and her personal progress of going there. I liked that one more though....
How could the performance have been better?
It was good that the author read her book, but she sounded monotone and as if she had to clear her throat the whole time but didn't. I had a really ahrd time adjusting to her voice. She had a lack of expression in how she read it. I didn't feel the emotion that she said she had there because her voice just stayed the same the whole time. I believe I would have enjoyed this more if I read it instead of listened to it.
Did A Thousand Sisters inspire you to do anything?
It actually has inspired me to want to run. I already sponsor a child in the Congo and have for a couple years and I also work for an anti-trafficking organization that talks about the Congo and other places. I really was inspired though that she wasn't really much of a runner and used it for a big difference. I wonder if in time I could do something like that for trafficking victims.
Any additional comments?
It is very important to try to seek out news of oppression around the world that the media barely mentions. Do some research and continue to help others.
What did you love best about A Thousand Sisters?
the facts of what it is really like in these African countries....so that people will be educated as a whole.
What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?
nothing was truly compelling-as the author/narrator did not use much change in vocalization
What didn’t you like about Lisa J. Shannon’s performance?
her voice was too flat-not much expression....
What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?
It was hard to pick up on one thing as the reading was so lacking in expression and I have listened to so man others on the same topic
Any additional comments?
I wouldn't recommend this. The ideal behind the book is inspiring, but it was poorly written and the narration was dull. It was very boring and difficult to stay interested in the story for what seemed to be most of the book. The author spent too much time on herself (the boring part) and not about the injustices occuring.
4 of 9 people found this review helpful