Majok Tulba’s BENEATH THE DARKENING SKY

What a powerful and confronting read. Majok Tulba’s novel deals with child soldiers in Southern Sudan. Told from the point of view of Obinna this book leaves nothing out as it details the life of one child soldier. My only previous reading experience of the conflict in Sudan was Dave Eggers’ equally powerful What Is The What which dealt with another young Sudanese boy and his plight escaping Sudan, through the refugee camps, before finally arriving in America. This novel is about a boy who doesn’t escape and is forcefully recruited into the rebel forces fighting against the Government. Obinna is brutalized and dehumanized as he is transformed by his captors from an innocent child into a killer. This process is told as raw and uncompromising as possible and is graphically and mesmerizingly violent but also deeply sad and moving. One part of your mind cannot believe a world like this exists while the other part reminds you that it most certainly does.

This is a horrific novel, as it should be, written by a young man with a yearning for the world to know this story. It is beautifully written and a definite must read.

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