By Lisa J. Shannon
Seal Press, $16.95, 344 pages

By sharing her journey into Congo, Lisa Shannon holds a megaphone for the Congolese women who do not have a voice. This truly inspiring memoir dignifies the white noise that washes over us daily in the news reports. It is not merely a collection of horror stories. The author relates her triumphs and confronts her feelings of inadequacy as she leaves her home in Portland, Oregon, to bear witness to an evil she doesn’t have to face. Although passionate about making a difference, once in Congo, she finds herself at a loss: “I feel ridiculous; my hurling antics at this country’s problems is like tossing teaspoons of water on a raging fire.”

A Thousand Sisters lays bare the heinous situation in Congo and the fortitude of its women. They do not beg for our pity. They embrace our compassion and teach us that when all seems lost, there is still joy to be gleaned in the field where they gather together to cry.

Reviewed by Alicea Swett