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Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst The Rwandan Holocaust Audio CD – CD, March 15, 2006
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— Jeannette Kagame, First Lady of the Republic of Rwanda
“In 1994, Rwandan native Ilibagiza was  years old and home from college to spend Easter with her devout Catholic family when the death of Rwanda’s Hutu president sparked a three-month slaughter of [more than] one million ethnic Tutsis. She survived by hiding in a Hutu pastor’s tiny bathroom with seven other starving women for 91 cramped, terrifying days. This searing first-hand account of Ilibagiza’s experience cuts two ways: her description of the evil that was perpetrated, including the brutal murders of her family members, is soul-numbingly devastating, yet the story of her unquenchable faith and connection to God throughout the ordeal uplifts and inspires. This book is a precious addition to the literature that tries to make sense of humankind’s seemingly bottomless depravity and counterbalancing hope in an all-powerful, loving God.”
— Publishers Weekly
“Left to Tell is for anyone who is weary of the predictable ‘eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth’ trance most of the world suffers from. Immaculée Ilibagiza breaks that spell by bravely quelling the storm within, and contacting a force so powerful that it allows her to calm the storm ‘without,’ and more important, to forgive the ‘unforgivable.’ Her story is an inspiration to anyone who is at odds with a brother, a nation, or themselves.”
— Judith Garten, teacher and counselor of The 50/50Work and a child of the WWII Holocaust
“This book has renewed my faith in God and the Universe in a profound and real way that has changed me forever.”
— Christiane Northrup, M.D., the author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom
“An inspirational, life-altering book. Once you turn that first page, you’re changed forever. You will never forget Immaculée and what it means to embrace life in the darkest of times.”
— Cindy Pearlman, New York Times Syndicate
“Immaculée Ilibagiza’s gift of forgiveness to the perpetrators of the unthinkable acts revealed in this book is just one of the extraordinary examples of her unwavering courage. This book moved me in unimaginable ways, and reminded me once again about the immense grace that is born out of faith and forgiveness.”
— Denise Linn, the author of If I Can Forgive, So Can You
“Reading this book has truly changed my life—not in some distant future, but right now! I can’t even describe my feelings, but they have shifted things inside me in such a way that I just can’t find the words. This is a book that defies adequate description.”
— Vimala Rodgers, author and motivational speaker
“Immaculée’s story is totally gripping from first to last page. It’s such an important work that I don’t want to just describe it as a page-turner . . . but it is. This is a book that will stay with me forever.”
— Al Burton, writer, director, and creator of numerous hit TV shows
“Left to Tell reminds us that we are all sons and daughters of God; that with faith, miracles will always appear; and that forgiveness is the key to freedom. A must-read for all of us in these troubled times.”
— Colette Baron-Reid, the author of Remembering the Future
“Left to Tell is an incredibly important story. It addresses both the best and the worst aspects of our humanity. Immaculée is a living example of the undefeatable human spirit! Her story is timeless.”
— Steve Kalafer, three-time Academy Award–nominated producer
About the Author
- Publisher : Hay House Inc.; Abridged edition (March 15, 2006)
- Language : English
- Audio CD : 4 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1401911498
- ISBN-13 : 978-1401911492
- Item Weight : 6.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.88 x 1.01 x 5.69 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,089,153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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Her family was well known for their kindness. They were catholics who prayed together and who lived as true christians in every sense of the word. For instance, when Immaculee was finally made safe in a French army base, she heard the laughing of another Tutsi survivor. The woman laughed because of the sheer delight of being alive. The woman looked at Immaculee and told her she had the face of her mother, the face of her father. Immaculee did not know the woman. The woman told her that she had been supported in her education by her mother, who had heard of her scholarship and gave to her mother so she could continue in school. Year after year Immaculee’s mother sent the money to help the young student. The woman said that Immaculee’s mother was truely a saint. She said that she had promised God that she would do anything for that family if she ever could. She ended up taking fifteen Tutsi survivors in her own home.
Immaculee, later forgave the man who lead the murderers in her own tiny town. Why? He had always been very well dressed and always acted as a friend of the family. She saw him now as a pitiful creature, famished and sickened. She learned it was his voice who searched for her so many times. He was trying to find her so he could kill the last family member and take their farm. She forgave him because that was all she could offer.
The family of Immaculee and the many situations that happened in the story, has had a profound effect on me. I pray silently during the day. I have a new lease on life where I am nurturing the concept of gratitude in my son. I believe in God more intensely that I ever had. Dr Wayne Dyer, a noted psychologist, wrote the forward. He said it is the most important book of all of his thousands. Now it is my most imporant book.
This book has NOT that same voice. I must attribute it to the editor who supposedly made the manuscript ready for English publication. Immaculee was uplifting and full of love! This book says all the right things but is completely VOID of her tone. I'm fully disappointed. It's a very hard read. Emotionally. You may say it's because of the topic. This is true! But when SHE speaks, and she shared boldly the most explicit events without hesitation, it is without any animosity. She shared facts of horrific suffering but in a voice of love, a voice commanding repentance, commanding forgiveness.
I just didn't hear her at all in the book. I wish they had published her words. I wish I could read that original manuscript.
You will still get an inside view of this painful part of history. You will still learn of her faith.
I cannot remember how many times I nearly cried out loud while listening to the abridged Audible edition. My one regret is that I did not read this book years ago. It dors today move me to recollecting the utmost power of prayer and forgiveness.
My wife is the better person in our union. Although she, as I, is imperfect, it is I who most needs the occasional reminder to stay on the true path to salvation. Ilibagiza’s book convinces me that, if she has it within herself to forgive those who killed her family and friends, how can I possibly justify my not forgoving anybody who has ever done me wrong.
However, almost as powerful as her testimonial to the power of prayer and to forgiveness is her recounting herself visualising a particular goal — make sure you pay attention to this part, because it WILL change your life.
No memoir, indeed, no book I have ever read has had so powerful an impact, nor has any other religious account ever struck me so fully as “Left To Tell.”
Five stars out of five.
Top reviews from other countries
I read this book as soon as it was delivered. I couldn't put it down. I had heard of this ladies ordeal via you-tube. I had seen countless videos of the holocaust and was moved to my core by the atrocities that occurred. I wanted to know why this happened? What drove neighbours and friends to kill each other, in such horrific manners? Once I read this book, I understood.
Imaculees' tale is just one of countless stories that should be told, but thankfully (for me, at least) she kept focused on staying alive so she could get this essential message across, to as many as want to listen. One thing that stood out for me was her undying faith, she knew that she had a purpose to fulfill after the madness was over. It was this that provided us with this book and for that i am truly thankful. It is a graphic and concise account of what happened to her throughout the holocaust and at times made me question my own potential as a human being. It tells of how her somewhat ordinary life changed over night and how she had to leave her family behind, knowing that she may never see them again. She spent three months with several other women hiding in a small toilet in the local ministers house scared for her life. It tells of how they wasted away in hiding and of her fear and anger but also how she came to terms with the devil within, demanding revenge. Immaculees' courage astonished me. Her defiance, despite everything, kept itself alive throughout her time in hiding and she never lost faith even when the devil shouted in her ear! I have nothing but compassion for you Immaculee, and for everyone suffering at the hands of mans greed and selfishness. Maybe one day all men will learn this lesson? God bless you.
Or maybe it is just an amazing story, the hideous inhumanity that prejudice can drive us to coupled by incredible forgiveness. I read the whole book in 24 hours straight - something that I haven't done in years.
Immaculee is from a loving, respected Catholic family in a small town in the west of Rwanda. A family who believed your tribal background shouldn't matter in a country where history and particularly Belgian colonial rule had made it of paramount importance.
It is the story of her childhood and adolescence in Rwanda before the unbelievable genocide that was encouraged by the government and allowed to run unchecked by the rest of the world. It is Immaculee's story of God's love, strength and revelation to her in situations that none of us ever want to imagine, the brutal murder of family and friends by their own friends and neighbours and yet it is not an overtly religious book.
Although in a part of the world of which I have no experience it was so easy to imagine all the people as real people that you could know and that is as it is, they are or were real people.