Lisa Shannon tells her story from start to finish in chronological order -- how she first heard about Congo's plight, how she figured out what to do about it, how she trained for her first run, her eventual "adventures" in Congo -- and she weaves other nuggets of information into the narrative seamlessly, keeping it non-stop interesting.
For example, as she flies to Rwanda, she tells some essential Rwandan history. It fits perfectly at that place in the story, making it effortless to read. A real pleasure to read.
The writing is good, very free-flowing. The story moves along at a good pace.
Shannon is an inspiration. She has no experience in any of this, but she does it anyway because it needs to be done. When she started out, she knew nothing about starting a movement, fundraising, long-distance running, lobbying senators, or doing interviews. But she has a goal, a worthy purpose, and moves toward her goal, learning as she goes.
"It's raining? I run anyway," she writes. "I'm in pain? I run anyway. I'm tired? I run anyway. I'm busy? I run anyway." And then she gives an insight into how she stays motivated -- an insight we can apply to our own worthy purposes. "When it all seems too much, I try to picture the women living in eastern Congo. Their faces are always a blank, but I try to imagine what they are doing right now. They can't pick up a cell phone and call a cab to take them out of the war zone. So I keep going."
She didn't try to learn it all first. She just got out there and started making something happen, doing what she could where she was with what she had.
It seems to me the only thing that really means anything is making a difference to other people. With her hard work and courage, Shannon makes a difference. This book will inspire others to follow that path.
So I hope A Thousand Sisters becomes a runaway bestseller. The more hearts it reaches, the better.