From Publishers Weekly
In this inspirational autobiography woven with a gruesome eyewitness account, Tuhabonye recounts his maturation as a world-class runner and his survival of a Burundi massacre. Born in 1974 to a minority ethnic Tutsi family, Tuhabonye grew up in rural Burundi, his intelligence and industry aided by spectacular athletic ability. The narrative alternates between the author's life story and events on the day of the massacres. In October 1993, after a Tutsi coup ousted the Hutu president, a Hutu mob invaded Tuhabonye's high school, hacked many Tutsi students to death with machetes and forced the rest into a building that they set afire. Only the author survived. After months of painful recovery from severe burns, he regained the ability to walk and then run again, a healing process facilitated by his faith—a devout Christian, he says he forgave the murderers and praises God for sparing him. Tuhabonye joined Burundi's national team, traveled the world, fell in love and moved to the U.S., where he now lives with his wife and daughter—an uplifting ending to a simply told story of a man who persevered through hard work, luck, presence of mind and (he emphasizes) God's love. (May)
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From the Back Cover
Gilbert Tuhabonye is a survivor.
More than ten years ago, he lay buried under a pile of burning bodies. The centuries-old battle between Hutu and Tutsi tribes had come to Gilbert’s school. Fueled by hatred, the Hutus forced more than a hundred Tutsi children and teachers into a small room and used machetes to beat most of them to death. The unfortunate ones who survived the beating were doused with gasoline and set on fire. After hiding under burning bodies for over eight hours, Gilbert heard a voice inside saying, “You will be all right; you will survive.” He knows it was God speaking to him.
Gilbert was the lone survivor of the genocide, and thanks his enduring faith in God for his survival. Today, having forgiven his enemies and moved forward with his life, he is a world-class athlete, running coach, and celebrity in his new hometown of Austin, Texas. The road to this point has been a tough one, but Gilbert uses his survival instincts to spur him on to the goal of qualifying for the 2008 Olympic Summer Games.
THIS VOICE IN MY HEART portrays not only the horrific event itself, but is a catalyst for people to understand real forgiveness and the gift of faith in God. Using the historical backdrop of the civil war that exists between tribes, coupled with a riveting story of escape, and a man with unyielding faith, Gilbert will forever touch the lives of those who read his story.