Tuesday, December 23, 2008

a Sunday at the pool in Kigali

a Sunday at the pool in Kigali by Gil Courtemanche

Valcourt is a Quebecois living in Rwanda. He truly loves the land and has found his place in life. Staying at the Mille Collines, he meets and falls in love with Gentille. Gentille is a Hutu who looks like a Tutsis. She is in grave danger during the genocide. Valcourt wants to marry her but sees no reason to leave the country. Despite seeing the bodies of his friends who have been murdered, he continues to stay.

The reader is really stretched in understanding why someone would put a person he is in love with in such danger. I found some of the philosophizing very well done. At one point Valcourt states that each country has a sickness. The sickness attributed to Canada was complacency. This is so true. Also interesting was the fact that the UN did nothing even though some of their personnel was murdered.

This is an excellent story but not for someone with a weak stomach.

First Line: "In the middle of Kigali there is a swimming pool surrounded by deckchairs and a score of tables all made of white plastic."



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