The Bite of the Mango by Mariatu Kamara with Susan McClelland

I’ve been looking at my bookshelves for the past few days, trying to decide which books should be donated to the public library.  It’s something I do every once in a while to keep my collection from getting too big, especially since I buy a lot of books online, and never know quite what I’m going to get until it actually gets here, resulting in a small selection of books that I will read once and then never re-visit.

One book that I’m definitely keeping, and lending out as suggested reading to friends, is The Bite of the Mango.  It’s an autobiography, in which Kamara recounts how the civil war in Sierra Leone affected her life: being caught by the rebels and having her hands chopped off, learning to live without hands, having a baby, moving away.  The book is written in clear, simple language and tells a very powerful story.

Kamara is a very positive person and The Bite of the Mango offers a very honest depiction of both the horrors of wartime and the absolute kindness people are capable of.  I would encourage everyone to read her story, because it shows you the power of the human spirit and is a real eye-opener for folks unfamiliar with the civil war.

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