This is a country of questions or maybe just one question. Why?
Haunted by childhood memories of the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, Théoneste Mukamsonera navigates his new life in Ireland where he is different due to the color of his skin. To be able to see a future in the horizon, Theo needs to confront first the horrors of his past.
Clár Ni Chonghaile’s tale of souls caught in a proverbial rain uses the power of language so effectively to create into life its vivid story. In “Rain Falls on Everyone,” you could feel rain washing your body, taste the saltiness of the sea breeze, hear the sound of the seagulls all while relieving the horror of the past, and trying to look for a future in the horizon.
In her book, Chonghaile introduces us to Théoneste Mukamsonera, who as a child, escaped the genocide in Rwanda in 1994. “Rain Falls on Everyone” is the story of a man who is trying to figure out a future for himself in a land where he is very different from the rest. The book takes us to his journey through the dark streets of Dublin and the harrowing memory of his family’s murder which has haunted him for years. With powerful language that sets the tone and the atmosphere of the story, the readers will accompany Théoneste throughout the pages of the book as if you are a part of his narrative.
The book shines best during moments of Théoneste musings about life in general: his inability to see the future due to the horrors of his past. The hazy, fragmented memories will keep the readers’ interest. The voices of the characters in the book jibe well with Théoneste’s, resulting in a beautifully crafted story. I just wish that Théoneste’s visit in Rwanda was given an equal spotlight so the lessons of genocide will be much more discussed.
Geek Rate: Sky god Worthy (5 out of 5 stars). “Rain Falls on Everyone,” tells us the everyday life of ordinary people: their struggles, their hopes, and dreams, the happy moments. The voice of the characters is genuine and through them, Chonghaile tackles some of society’s ills: drugs, violence, racism, and suicide. The book focused on the present while acknowledging the role of the past in how people navigate their lives. It is a compelling read that tells readers that we all get soaked from the rain, but the important thing is how you deal with it.