“Great book ... incredible story of a woman who has seen/done it all. She turned her own life around to help lead the women's fight to stop the civil war 14-year in Liberia and become a leader in the peace movement worldwide ... more importantly she works to repair countries that have known little peace for many years! A must read!!”Kay D Colson wrote this review Sunday, March 3, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Leymah Gbowee graduated from a private high school at 17 and entered a public college with hopes of becoming a pediatrician. However, within months Liberia was in the middle of a major war with multiple rebel groups fighting the Doe government. Charles Taylor was one of the major rebel leaders and most brutal. The story follows Leymah’s life as she finds work with various social service groups, tries to continue her education, becomes involved in an abusive marriage and bears 4 successive children and tries to keep her family safe and fed. The scenes and stories of the women living through war are horrific. Leymah works with various groups, learning multiple therapies and begins to get her own ideas about what will help women in war and create peace. She leaves her marriage and goes back to her parents’ home. She makes contacts with women all over her country and Africa absorbing knowledge like a sponge and creating networks. Using this knowledge she and a group of women create a peace network to stop the war. They use women Marches, sit-ins, other peaceful strategies including withholding sex to force the peace initiative. This was called the Mass Action.
At one point a peace negotiation is held in Accra, Ghana, but all the male representatives do are make claims of what they want and don’t negotiate. The go to expensive hotels and restaurants. They have no incentive to take the next step. Leymah, who has a contingent of women sitting in front of the conference building to be “their conscience”, gets the women to move around the conference room entrance, blocking the doors. Once the negotiators are inside, they say they cannot leave until peace is arranged. No more food or water will be allowed in to the conference. Negotiators will see what it is like to live as the women do during war. This alone did not bring peace but world attention and international peacekeepers and then peace.
The rest of the book covers building organizations to help recovery, survival and trauma relief. She becomes an international spokesperson for women and peace, winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012 for her efforts for her efforts. Great story of empowerment.”
“This book captures the true story of a mass women’s movement for peace in Liberia; the actions these women took were both formidable and inspiring. The book is worth reading for the story alone. The author of this memoir played an amazing role in the creative and determined women’s peace efforts and deserves credit for that. However, I found her tone in the book annoyingly smug and off-putting. ”Sarah L wrote this review Sunday, May 27, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“War is a terrible thing. A civil war, in your own homeland may be even worse, yet this is where this story begins. The Liberian civil war was one of brutal murders, rapes and assaults, and was where Leymah Gbowee found herself just when she should be enjoying life as a college student. Instead she is married to an abusive husband, living with extended family with no food, running water or electricity, seeing friends killed and having to relocate too many times to mention. Yet through all of this, she finds a voice, not only for herself, but for the women of Liberia to speak peace to their souls and land.
While this was not an easy read, it was an inspiring read. It forced me to learn of the price that people truly pay for the right to participate in a democratic process.
This is a story that should motivate each of us to find our own voice and remember that one voice can start a movement.”
“Powerful and moving - what an inspiration!”Jan H wrote this review Thursday, May 17, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“well written, very inspirational, Leymah Gbowee won the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize”Joy K. wrote this review Monday, April 16, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Gbowee is a truly inspirational leader of women. It was great to get the back story on this Nobel Prize-winning activist and educator.”Larissa C wrote this review Saturday, April 7, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I liked this book alot. The story of the author was surprising. I knew a little bit from the publicity - but the book is more real and interesting than that. It is more of a story of women and Africa and politics and human community and society than anything else. It caused me to think.”Mike Mather wrote this review Thursday, February 9, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No