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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Ishmael Beah: Radiance of Tomorrow: A Novel

((  Written By: Nani Hapa ))  Six years ago,
when Ishmael Beah (Sierra Leone) published his bestselling memoir A Long Way Gone, readers were exposed to a harrowing account of Sierra Leone’s civil war and the horrific abuse child soldiers both endure and perpetrate.  Radiance of Tomorrow, Ishmael’s first novel, explores what happens once the civil war is over when victims and perpetrators seeking to restore peace in a country they share are required to reconcile with what they did and what was done to them.

At the center of Radiance of Tomorrow are Benjamin and Bockarie, two longtime friends who return to their hometown, Imperi, that is left in ruins after the civil war.  Despite uncertain times, Benjamin and Bockarie try to forge a new community by taking up their former posts as teachers, but they’re plagued by one obstacle after the other as more villagers return to Imperi:  a scarcity of food; a rash of serious crimes (including murders, theft, rape); and the depredations of a foreign mining company intent on sullying the town’s water supply and blocking its paths with electric wires.  Still, armed with an improbable sense of hope, Benjamin and Bockarie work against the odds to preserve, and in some cases restore, what means the most to them.

Radiance of Tomorrow is a moving novel that will leave you thinking critically about postwar life in those regions of Africa still reeling from conflict.
((  Photo Credits:  Book Cover Art ))