Josefu’s 1000 Hills
Having been so graciously gifted a copy of the Seed of Yggdrasill, I was very exited when Whyte Tracks asked me to review another book published by them. Whyte Tracks (being a small publishing house like me) I feel sympathetic to the lack of available reviewers and so, I don’t mind helping them out with reviews.
Publisher: Whyte Tracks; First edition (July 31, 2014)
Description: Josefu Mutesa, British born of Ugandan parents, slowly recalls his experiences in Rwanda, ‘land of the thousand hills’ where he went as an UN official in the aftermath of the genocide. He had a breakdown out there, when UN rules continued to cause havoc by being applied just as blindly as they had been before and during the killings. He was evacuated to Canada and now, six years later, he decides to face his past. This is his story.
It is odd for me to read something that is not part of my faith tradition unless its Terry Pratchett. I was asked to give this book Josefu’s 1,000 Hills a read! Having been so graciously gifted a copy of The Seed of Yggdrasill, which is still one of my top ten favorite books. Whyte Tracks is a small publishing house and being that I am in the same boat as they are, I don’t mind giving a book they publish a review.
The book takes place in Canada (for the most part), my old stomping grounds….and it’s nice to see the Canadian landscape so generously and lovingly described in the book. The landscape and descriptions may not be as great for someone who has never visited Canada, but I don’t feel that will stop readers from enjoying it, or perhaps even increasing awareness for the wonder of Canada. Being an observer in a book full of tragedy is hard, and this book is no exception. You feel for Josefu in the book, the tragedy and hardship is real, gritty and dirty.
It shows us the world under the carpet and that world is always the blackest, darkest place….but here in the light it is exposed, and sometimes the reader cringes as the reality of the world comes crashing in. I feel the author did an amazing job, making the horror in the book real and raw, but not gore. It takes you into the world so often overlooked. I don’t think since Hotel Rowanda, that this issue has been quite dealt with in such a way. The book, is not about one thing, but a variety of things, it is about how we face our darkness, and how our past and present are one path, often twisted, but still remaining, our destiny….. One of those being the survival of the soul and how our past will not rest unless we confront it.
The only complaint I have, is that it felt slow. But, I think this is done deliberatly. The slow, drawn out tone of the book does not ruin it at all, and it does increase its pace as it goes. Once you get ingrained in the story, it does take you on one heck of a trip! I would recommend it to read if you are a fan of books that are based on real events but presented in a fictional frame. I give this book: 4/5 Stars
Author, Publisher, Embroidery Artist and Keeper of the Keys!