Book Review: Left to Tell, by Immaculee Ilibagiza


When my husband told me he was buying a book about the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, I knew that it would be an intense read. It certainly was intense — more than just about any other book I’ve read.

In her book Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust, Immaculee Ilibagiza tells a story of terror, loss, grief and forgiveness. During the three-month period after the death of Rwanda’s Hutu president in 1994, thousands of ethnic Tutsis were killed. At age 24, college student Immaculee was visiting her family for the holidays when the slaughter began. She and seven other Tutsi women hid for 91 days in the bathroom of a Hutu pastor’s house.

Through hours of prayer, devout Catholic Immaculee found the strength to forgive those who killed her family members and so many other Tutsis. Eventually, her prayers lead her to a new life of healing and helping others who survived this tragedy.

As I read Left to Tell, the book stayed in my mind and heart throughout each day. I dreamed at night about Immaculee’s account of the atrocities, and wondered how anyone could survive such horror. Immaculee can teach all of us the power of forgiveness, even in the most unimaginable circumstances. I highly recommend this book.

If you would like to purchase Left to Tell or other books by Immaculee Ilibagiza, visit this link. You can learn more about Immaculee’s life and work on her website, Immaculee.

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3 Replies to “Book Review: Left to Tell, by Immaculee Ilibagiza”

  1. this book remind me of my family experience during World War ii as my grandfather told me when war coming to an end my family and fellow villager going back to their village from their retreat from the jungle of the Philippines..they were met at a bridge an no one survive they were all beheaded by the japanese,,.luckily my family survive because they took a raft into the china sea heading back to the village…I still remember up to this days as i traveled the road when i was young skull bones of human remains is so visible on that same bridge…wells full of human bones as we walk through going to school…

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