Title: What They Meant for Evil
Author: Rebecca Deng with Ginger Kolbaba
“I am no longer a lost girl, for I have been found,” Rebecca Deng with Ginger Kolbaba ends her memoir, What They Meant for Evil: How a Lost Girl of Sudan Found Healing, Peace, and Purpose in the Midst of Suffering.
~ What ~
This three-hundred-and-four-page hardbound targets those who like true stories that promote the grace and mercies of God while one struggles through a life of war and upheaval. With no profanity, topics of adult situations, physical abuse, murder, and war may not be appropriate for immature readers. Using the English Standard Version of the Holy Bible, the beginning includes a preface, followed by five parts, author’s note, acknowledgments, and the authors’ biographies.
In this quick read, Rebecca Ajueny Nyanwut de Deng de Awel was four years old when the South Sudan’s second civil war began to take the lives of most of her family members. Fleeing one location to another, she was forced to escape with other family members when her mother died and her father was a soldier in the SPLA. Once orphaned, she became one of eighty-nine refugee girls sent to America to start life over. By learning about Jesus and His protection at a young age, the women who saw and experienced war and its terrors learned survival by facing her fears, depression, and heartbreak losing her family.
~ Why ~
This is a touching, emotional, and raw story of a young girl growing up in the midst of the violence of war. While her mother, sister, grandmother, father, uncle, or other family member became victims of civil conflict, this tender-hearted but determined individual fought to live free from her tragic past, especially when it was God’s redemption that saved her.
~ Why Not ~
If you do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, you may not like this book, yet it may also be one that brings peace and comfort if struggling through a tragedy or deep loss. Others may not appreciate reading about the constant war cry to flee physical, sexual, and mental abuse and the continual impoverishment in disgusting living conditions that so many refugees suffered and continue to suffer.
~ Wish ~
It would have been thoughtful if maps and photographs were included. I wish all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence.
~ Want ~
If you like reading about a woman who recalls her horrible memories as a young casualty of war and survives, this is a heart-wrenching read that makes you want to reach out and hug a refugee who is dealing with potentially the same issues.
Thanks to Hachette Book Group for this book that I am under no obligation to review.
More about this book can be found at https://amzn.to/2Zt55n6