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Monday, March 31, 2014

Hope Runs: An American Tourist, a Kenyan Boy, a Journey of Redemption by Claire Diaz-Ortiz and Sammy Ikua Gachagua

Thoroughly engaging, this book will inspire you on many levels.  The story is real-life and each chapter is either narrated by Claire or Sammy as the tale goes back and forth between their different perspectives.  We get to know two very different yet very similar souls.  We also begin to understand how other cultures behave and value things.  Claire is a twenty-something American looking to find her own way in the world.  Her friend Lara accompanies her as they travel the world.  Sammy is a Kenyan orphan living day to day.  When their paths collide, a love grows that can not be put out.  This is by no means a romantic love but rather the love of a woman for a child.  Sammy sometimes calls Claire his big sister, his aunt, his mother, or just his guardian.  Whatever the title, they care deeply for each other as family members.  Readers also learn about the charity organization Hope Runs, which is active in the story.  A part of the book’s proceeds even go towards the charity.  In the middle of the book, there are some full-color photos of international travels for both Claire and Sammy.  Well written, this story will make you think twice about the meaning of life and it will make you want to make a different in the world.  At the end of the book, you will want to climb your own mountain, whether it be physical or symbolical.

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