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ARC: Tears of the Desert: A Memoir of Survivial in Darfur & a giveaway

September 4, 2008

Tears of the Desert: A Memoir of Survival in Darfur
Halima Bashir with Damien Lewis
One World/Ballantine, 2008
336 pages
Memoir, Non-fiction
Book provided by Random House

Normally this wouldn’t be a book I’d chose to read as I stay away from the real life horrors of the day. I don’t watch the news and I only skim headlines in the paper. Usually I feel there is more then enough bad stuff happening around me and I choose not to bring it into my reading world. This book was sent to me by someone only slightly familiar with my reading tastes and I thank her for that. She got it right and made a wonderful selection.

I started this book Tuesday and finished it late Wednesday night. I couldn’t put it down. It kept drawing me back even though at times the story is far from pretty. While it has a simple, easy-to-read writing style the message of the story is much, much deeper. This is a powerful, in some instances subtle and some not, memoir with lessons in love, courage and death that each of us should listen very carefully to and make note of. Without giving away a lot of the story Halima has a normal, loving, supportive childhood and receives an education not typical of females in her culture. She achieves her father’s dream for her of becoming a Doctor. Returning to her village she provides medical care for the community only to find herself, her family and her neighbors caught up in the war in Darfur. An ugly, brutal, devastating, ongoing war against humanity.

Without becoming too political she explains the hows and whys behind a war I care nothing about in a part of the world far from what I choose to be my every day reality. I find myself deeply affected by the atrocities inflicted on these fellow human beings. The suffering of these people is beyond imagination. This book brings home that once again people throughout this world are very much alike. Just like my family, friends and neighbors they want security, health and happieness for their loved ones. And that only the few are monsters and so very dangerous and deadly to hundred of thousands, if not, millions of us.

In a way I’m relieved that this book ends yet I’m sad because I want to know what is happening to those I’ve come to care about if only through words on a sheet of paper.


Natasha at Maws Book Blog is Reading and Blogging for Darfur in September. Please stop by her blog and check all the wonderful ways you can join Natasha in assisting those in need in Darfur.

I will be giving away my ARC copy of this book over at Up For Grabs. For every entry I receive I will donate .50 cents to the Darfur charity of Natasha’s choice.


X-posted: Book Club & Publishers Book Blog

  1. September 9, 2008 8:32 pm

    This book is the first ARC I have received through LT and they could not have chosen a better book for me. I loved it. Fabulous book. I don’t need to enter the giveaway but I wanted to encourage everyone to enter. This is a powerful book they we would all benefit from reading.

  2. September 30, 2008 6:10 am

    I agree that this was a powerful book. I had to close it a couple of times and just think. I finished it yesterday, and I just can’t get it out of my mind.

    I added your link to my review, which is here:


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