A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali
4 journalers for this copy...
sending this book out via bookmooch.com
I didn't even realize this book was registered on bookcrossing until after I started reading it.
I received this from a friend as a birthday present.
Valcourt is a Quebecois that moved to Rwanda in hopes of opening up a television station there with the blessing of the Rwanda government and the help of the Canadian government. However both kept dragging their feet and Valcourt turned his efforts toward creating a documentary about AIDS. While staying in the famous Mille Collines, he spends his days in Kigali, interviewing those with AIDS. Valcourt befriends many Hutus and Tutsis, but falls in love with a server at the hotel named Gentille. Gentille is a Hutu by birth, but is tall and beautiful so that any Rwandan would mistake her as a Tutsi. Obviously, not what you want to be mistaken for at the start of the Rwandan genocide.
Valcourt and Gentille plan to get married but want to marry in Rwanda, as Valcourt has adopted this as his new home. His Tutsi friends start to get murdered and tossed at the side of the road, yet Valcourt and Gentille still stay in Rwanda. Despite their explanations, I can't understand why anyone would put themselves in this type of danger. There are horror stories about mutilations and dehumanization that leave you in shock.
The first chapter of this book doesn't do the book justice. I was thinking that I was going to have to pass on the book because of the poor first chapter. If you do decide to pick this book up, don't let the first chapter get to you! The book gets far better once the author picks up a story line and follows it. It's a touching story of love in a horrible time and there's even a bit of a twist at the end!
Valcourt is a Quebecois living in Rwanda. He truly loves the land and has found his place in life. Staying at the Mille Collines, he meets and falls in love with Gentille. Gentille is a Hutu who looks like a Tutsis. She is in grave danger during the genocide. Valcourt wants to marry her but sees no reason to leave the country. Despite seeing the bodies of his friends who have been murdered, he continues to stay.
The reader is really stretched in understanding why someone would put a person he is in love with in such danger. I found some of the philosophizing very well done. At one point Valcourt states that each country has a sickness. The sickness attributed to Canada was complacency. This is so true. Also interesting was the fact that the UN did nothing even though some of their personnel was murdered.
This is an excellent story but not for someone with a weak stomach.
Thanks much! I've been wanting to read this book for a while.
To use words like "horrific" or "appalling" to describe the Rwandan genocide seems to cheapen it, because it is one of those things that seems beyond words. This is a devastatingly heartbreaking account of what went so horribly, horrendously wrong in Rwanda and with the human race in general, a book that deserves to be read by all of us who are at risk of succumbing to the terrible disease of complacency. Thanks very much for sharing this.
Journal Entry 8
phone booth (see release notes for details) in Toronto, Ontario Canada on Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Released 9 yrs ago (4/13/2010 UTC) at phone booth (see release notes for details) in Toronto, Ontario Canada
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Released as part of two release challenges: the "A" challenge (book titles beginning with "A") and the "Never Judge A Book By Its Cover" challenge (Week 15's theme: author's first or last name must begin with "G" or "L").