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Radiance of Tomorrow: A Novel Hardcover – January 7, 2014
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Top Customer Reviews
In the Author's Note he explains the great tradition of storytelling in his native country and that his mother tongue Mende has a poetic way of speaking both of which he hopes to use in Radiance of Tomorrow:
Mende, is very expressive, very figurative, and when I write, I always struggle to find the English equivalent of things that I really want to say in Mende. For example, in Mende, you wouldn't say "night came suddenly"; you would say "the sky rolled over and changed its sides."
Beah is successful in his use of both the story telling techniques and his use of language it does in fact lull the reader, letting one forget the horrors of war and look for the radiance of tomorrow. This is a story of a people returning to their village and rebuilding, attempting to leave behind the sorrows and reclaim their home. The first to return to the village of Imepri are the elders, Mama Kadie and Pa Moiwa. The book begins:
"She was the first to arrive where it seemed the wind no longer exhaled. Several miles from town, the trees had entangled one another. Their branches grew toward the ground, burying the leaves in the soil to blind their eyes so the sun would not promise them tomorrow with its rays. It was only the path that was reluctant to cloak its surface completely with grasses, as though it anticipated it would soon end its starvation for the warmth of bare feet that gave it life.Read more ›
After the civil war in Sierra Leone was over, Benjamin and Bockarie together with other people are coming back to Imperi, their birth place in ruins. Both are teachers so their desire by resuming the old post is to help rebuild their country and their community with knowledge and education.
But even though the war have ended, the country is in ruins, and the problems are all around them - lack of food, vengeance, murders, rape and theft are part of everyday painful life that surrounds them. Additionally, under the guise of helping troubled African country and its people, a foreign company jeopardizes their survival polluting water which will again cause unrest amnog people.
So the two friends besides thinking about the safety of their lives, and due to will to help people around them and hold fragile peace would need to put themselves in the position to fix what is today so the things that will come could be better, bringing hope for a better tomorrow...
Ishmael Beah wrote a strong book that goes beyond terms such as courage and hope; he brought a compelling and moving story about the consequences of the brutal civil war in Sierra Leone, and his story is even more distressing because it's told by the local people that understand why and what happened, something that is most of the time hard to understand for people that are not from these troubled world parts.Read more ›
Mama Kadie cautiously enters the central path of her village, not sure what to expect, pondering on what has remained and who is still there or has come back like she does now. After the traumas, losses and devastation of the war she experiences profound emotions as she walks barefoot on the local soil, smells the scents of the land and watches and listens for every sound in the bushes. What will life have in store for her? The opening pages of Ishmael Beah's debut novel, "Radiance of Tomorrow", are achingly beautiful; his voice gentle and affecting, his deep emotional connection palpable with what he describes so colourfully. Having experienced international acclaim with his memoir, "A Long Way Gone", which recounts the story of a child soldier in Sierra Leone, with his new book he returns to his homeland, sharing with his readers the demanding and difficult path that the local people have to follow in their recovery from the brutal war and its many losses in life and livelihood. There is hope – radiance – for a better future but there are also many sacrifices to make: forgiving is not forgetting; rebuilding on ruins, literally, on the bones of loved ones is probably one of the most haunting challenges. Transposing the facts and realities of the aftermath of the Sierra Leonean war into a fictional framework carries its own challenges. At the same time, it gives the author a greater freedom of expression for exploring the tragedies and recoveries.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is one of the most moving books I have ever read. I cannot tell you how much I love it. I cried and laughed. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Gail
A wonderfully done novel by a very skillful writer. Having read both his works I eagerly await his next installment. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Brian
This book helps you to understand how violence can be part of even a gentle person's life.Published 4 months ago by Jackie Lura
I was expecting a hopeful happy account of his return to Sierra Leon. But it was an unrelenting account of tragedy. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Alice G Preston
A brilliant read, Ishmael style of writing is riveting. The subject matter he covers is difficult but done in such a way you need to continue. I can not recommend this book more. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Caroline Hern
If you want to know about life in a Third World Country. This book is a good startPublished 12 months ago by DarEll T. Weist
The author did a wonderful job of conveying the quality of life in Sierra Leone. However, this book is referred to as his first "novel. Read morePublished 12 months ago by charley