Book Review: Left to Tell

Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust

By Immaculee Ilibagiza with Steve Irwin
Reviewed by Sister Joan Pitlyk

In Left to Tell, Immaculee Ilibagiza tells her story of how faith carried her through the most trying period of her life. In her autobiography, Ilibagiza writes of the nearly one million Rwandans who lost their lives in the 1994 holocaust. She shares with her readers the horrifying 100 days of genocide. Murderous gangs killed members of the Tutsi tribe, her parents, two brothers and others.

She also tells the story of Pastor Murinzi, who hid her, along with six other girls, in one of the bathrooms in his home. The girls could not move nor speak for fear that someone would hear them. Ilibagiza spent the time reading the Bible and meditating. She was able to confront her anger as she struggled to forgive the brutal Hutu.

After 91 days hiding in the bathroom, she and the other girls were forced to leave. Pastor Murinzi feared for his life if the Hutu discovered he was hiding Tutsis.

Ilibagiza's story tells of her struggle to let go of her anger and hatred for the Hutu. She reached a point that allowed her to pardon those responsible for her tragedy and the tragedy of the Tutsi tribe. Her story is at once wrenching and redemptive.

At the end of her book, Ilibagiza writes, "If there ever was a time for forgiveness, it is now. The love of a single heart can make a world of difference. I believe that we can heal Rwanda and our world by healing one heart at a time. I hope my story helps."

For more information about the book and Immaculee Ilibagiza visit

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