Thursday, May 13, 2010

Review: The Gnawing Thoughts by Hida Jessie Piersma

In this eye-opening and moving memoir, Hida Jessie Piersma provides a rare, first-person glimpse of growing up in Uganda during the regime of Idi Amin-and the incredible fortitude that gave her a fighting chance at a better life, in Europe and America.

Born in 1964 in Awach Division of Northern Uganda's Gulu District-the African bush-Hida learns early the value of hard work and a good education. But the direction of her country threatens to ruin everything that she's worked for as the rise of Amin and wars that follow take the lives of those around her. Hunger, a lack of medicine, ethnic hatred and daily indignities are the norm. Yet Hida's story is not just one of the horrible deprivation and injustice that overtook Uganda. With help from her brother, Hida immigrates to Europe in the early 1990s, where she endeavors to improve her and her child's lives. It's a journey that ends up taking her to America, where the cultural adjustment continues as she enters school to become a nurse. Through it all, Hida is constantly focused on education and the future-and remembering and honoring the people, places and events that shaped her back in Africa.

Frank, poignant and in the end hopeful, The Gnawing Thoughts is one woman's incredible story of inspiration and faith. And it's a reminder to all of us about the unstoppable power of the human spirit.

Received from the publisher for review.

This was an interesting, yet profoundly disturbing account of life in Uganda. The situation is simply inhumane. Apparently their ignorance (burning people with chicken pox alive, and breeding like rabbits because they refuse to use birth control) is even more horrendous than you see on CNN. I was simply disgusted by the abuses discussed.

This one gets two stars. Obviously English was not the author's first language which made for rather stilted reading. It was certainly not bad, but the flow was odd and I did not resonate with the author. I just couldn't understand her motives. The discussions of life in Uganda were educational, if horrifying, as I said before.

☆☆= Just Okay


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