This book is a masterpiece. It is possessed of a haunting beauty that gets inside you and won't let go. Pulitzer Prize winning author, Tracy Kidder recounts the true story of Deogratias and his harrowing escape from the genocide that ripped his country apart and his subsequent struggle to build some sort of a life in America. After arriving in the United States with $200 in his pocket with no grasp of the English language whatsoever, Deo, a former medical student in his home country, finds himself homeless, sleeping in central park, and delivering groceries for a living.
The horrors that Deo endured in his home country of Burundi are almost unimaginable. The mere fact that he survived is astounding. However, the true beauty of this book lies in how it cultivates hope. For all of humanity's darkness that threatens to close in on Deo, it is the kindness and compassion of strangers that saves, time and time again. I'm tempted to recount some examples of this, but I'd honestly hate to spoil it for you. It is often said that it is in despair that hope matters and it is only in the darkness that light makes a difference. That is the best way I can think of to characterize this book. It will restore your faith in humanity (even while reminding you how ugly we can be), and posses your heart with a beautiful ache to be a living conduit of hope to the world around you.