“An incredible story about the social conflicts in Burundi and Rwanda during the 90s told by an innocent child”
Petit Pays is the first novel of Gaël Faye, a Rwandan singer. This author was new to me, as well as the main theme of the book: the conflicts in Burundi and Rwanda. This may sound very strange to you as it sounded to me the first time I was given the book. But I have to admit I was wrong, this book had completely hooked me.
The story is based on Gabriel -the main character- and his childhood memories. The novel starts with a big flashback to all his family experiences in his natal Burundi. However, the happiness began to disappear due to the difficult times the country faces at that time such as war and political instability but also personal problems in Gabriel’s family.
The author’s narrative style turns this book into a touching and emotive story, full of nostalgia. It makes you smile and cry at the same time. The characters are very well described, most of them are a representation of a complicated society: different ideologies or even different ways to understand how life is.
I loved so much how the author described his country: a red sand landscape, with exotic vegetation and beautiful people. The book also reflects the contrast between local people and some expats who have a rich life in Burundi.
It’s a moving story, it would definitely surprise you!