Combres, Elisabeth. Broken Memory: a Novel of Rwanda.
Groundwood see Douglas McIntyre 2009 139p 18.95 978-0-88899-892-7 ms/hs
This powerful novel, translated from French, is an account of the genocide in Rwanda personalized through fourteen year old Emma’s eyes. Ten years after she witnessed her mother’s brutal murder in their home finds Emma living with a poor, elderly, Hutu woman. Emma has been living with her ever since she escaped from her village and took refuge in her home. Though poor, the woman hid Emma when necessary and looked after her. Emma has befriended a boy her age who was also a victim of the savage war. Together they form a bond as he tells her about school and she supports him as he goes through his dark moments every April. A kind man who helps young survivors of the war eventually helps Emma learn how to let her feelings out and move on in her life. An epilogue at the end of the story updates Emma’s and other main character’s status a decade later. The author also adds a note at the end of the book that helps put this title in it’s historical context in an understandable way. This compelling, moving, and well -written novel about the war in Rwanda and its effects on the people who lived there during the genocide is an excellent selection for both middle and high school libraries. Tina Weinraub