Strength in What Remains

Thoughts  Strength in What Remains: a journey of remembrance and forgiveness by Tracy Kidder, Random House 2009 Hardback, 272 pages

For my personal challenge to read every book written by Kidder.

What’s it ABOUT:  This is the story of a young man who escaped harrowing violence in his country of Burundi in the early nineties.

What’s GOOD:  If you have read or are aware of Kidder’s Mountains Beyond Mountains (and if you are not aware of this book, get thee to a bookstore/library pronto), then you are familiar with Partners in Health, a wonderful organization bringing basic healthcare to the most impoverished points on the globe. Strength in What Remains brings a look to one individual who works with PIH.

Burundi is a country I have heard of but I was unaware how close geographically and politically it is to Rwanda. Both of these countries have experienced civil war and genocide that is just hard to fathom or understand. Deogratias was a medical student in Burundi who managed to get himself to New York and somehow managed to meet more than a few angels. Now he is working on being an angel for Burundi.

It is a wonderful awful and awe-ful tale.

RATING:  Four slices of pie. Cassava pie!


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21 thoughts on “Strength in What Remains

  1. My kids and I studied Burundi back when we used to close our eyes, spin the globe, and point to a random country to study. Let me tell you something, it’s not easy to find good material for kids about Burundi. I’m going to see if Ben remembers that–and if he does, maybe I’ll get him this book so he can follow up now that he’s Big.

  2. I’m definitely going to put this book on my tbr list to read soon. I’ve read a few of Tracy Kidder’s earlier books, including Among Schoolchildren, and they’ve all been great experiences and worth reading. There are so many books I want to read but it’s impossible to get to them all. Books like Kidder writes are the kind that it’s worth making the time for!

    Thanks for a great review….mmmm, pie..d’oh!

      1. You’re way ahead of me on the “Read all of Tracy Kidder” goal. I thought Soul of a New Machine felt really dated when I read it (obviously), but also just isn’t as well-written as his later books. Which is good, since it means he’s getting better over time. But I’m curious what you’d think of Soul of a New Machine on a reread.

        1. Yes, the computer industry has changed a little in 40 years. But it is a good history, I’m sure. Almost like science fiction future speculation in reverse.

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