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Summary

Random House presents the audiobook edition of The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil, read by Robin Miles.

A riveting tale of dislocation, survival and the power of stories to break or save us.

Clemantine Wamariya was six years old when her mother and father began to speak in whispers, when neighbours began to disappear, and when she heard the loud, ugly sounds her brother said were thunder. In 1994, she and her 15-year-old sister, Clare, fled the Rwandan massacre and spent the next six years wandering through seven African countries, searching for safety - perpetually hungry, imprisoned and abused, enduring and escaping refugee camps, finding unexpected kindness, witnessing inhuman cruelty. They did not know whether their parents were dead or alive.

When Clemantine was 12, she and her sister were granted refugee status in the United States, where she embarked on another journey, ultimately graduating from Yale. Yet the years of being treated as less than human, of going hungry and seeing death, could not be erased. She felt at the same time six years old and 100 years old.

In The Girl Who Smiled Beads, Clemantine provokes us to look beyond the label of ‘victim’ and recognise the power of the imagination to transcend even the most profound injuries and aftershocks. Devastating yet beautiful and bracingly original, it is a powerful testament to her commitment to constructing a life on her own terms.

©2018 Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil (P)2018 Random House Audiobooks

Critic reviews

"Extraordinary and heartrending. Wamariya is as fiercely talented as she is courageous." (Junot Díaz, author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao)

What members say

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utterly outstanding.

Beautifully and sensitively narrated. Deeply moving story. A pearl to humanity, crafted with poetry and heart, and an inspiring invitation to reclaim our lives and loves.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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not for me!

I found the narrator very difficult. Emotionless and badly punctuated. The book angry and difficult. Not because of the difficult subject matter but the way the story is told.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful