The dawn arrived quietly.
The sun, just risen, shone uncertainly on the hill.
A dull grey light, impregnated with mist and silence, greeted Caritas when she opened her eyes.
A gloomy atmosphere had brought a strange sense of foreboding throughout the village.
There were no chants at the spring that morning and Caritas did not dance on her way to collect the water.
Fearful children held on to their mothers’ pagnes while the women filled the canisters in silence and returned to their homes straightaway.
On her return home, Caritas was surprised not to find her mother and grandmother outside preparing lunch.
Instead she saw her father who was waving to her to hurry up.
“What’s happening?” she asked, in alarm.
“Shh!” said her mother and then looked at the radio, waiting for the broadcast to start.
“We confirm this morning’s news. Our Hutu president Habyarimana and Burundi’s President Cyprien Ntaryamira are dead,” a voice said.
That bitter surprise hurt more than a cold grip around Caritas’ heart.
Through the story of Caritas, a beautiful Tutsi girl, and her life in the village of Nyamata, the author leads the readers through the events that culminated in the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
Ludovica Iaccino conducted extensive research in order to collect facts and shed light on one of the worst massacres of modern history.