We’ve lost a lot as African Countries due to war || Small Country [Book Review]

July 23, 2018

I got a few books last week from penguin random house South Africa and today I am reviewing one of those books. Its a historical fiction book based on the consequences of war in one of the African countries. Lets get to it.

Book Details

Title: Small Country || Author: Gaël Faye || Genre: Literary fiction || Published: July 2018 || Imprint: Penguin Random House UK || Pages: 185 || Publicist: Lauren Mc Diarmid


Small country takes place in Burundi, 1992. It follows the main protagonist, Gabriel; a 10 year old at the time. He lives in a neighborhood called Bujumbura with his French father, Rwandan mother and his little sister, Ana. He’s living a care-free life with his friends. But this is going to change as a dark cloud is looming over the country. The peaceful era ends when Burundi and neighboring country  Rwanda are brutally hit by war and genocide. We get to see and follow the war through the eyes of a 10-year-old, Gabriel.


My thoughts

This was an emotional read and the writing is amazing. This is Faye’s first novel and I cannot wait to see his other work. He managed to paint a proper picture of the story and made the characters so relatable as well.

The overall plot was executed perfectly, it portrayed how much has been lost in countries due to war. The decisions made during that time, how it affected people and especially children. Some had to move away from their countries and start a new life which is not always glamorous as it may seem. A lot of people struggled because of the war and it was great having to read one perspective of what happened during that time. Its a learning curve for me as I didn’t know much about the war in Burundi.

The book reveals some of the questions posed by war especially to mixed-children. They are required to choose between two tribes, but for them its difficult as they are not familiar with the history between those tribes and the only thing that matters to them is peace. We get to see Gabriel struggling with those questions and trying to find a way to fit in.

The difficulty with this war was the impact it had afterwards, having to see a lot of dead bodies was just traumatic. How does one find the strength to continue leaving a normal life?

This is a fast paced read and its less than 200 pages and that was the only con for me. But anyways, it was a good book.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book and I’d recommend it to everyone.


Those were my thoughts and I’d like to know yours if you’ve read this book and thank you again to Penguin Random House SA for sending me a copy.

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Until next time, lets keep reading.

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