The horrible truth that is South Sudan, and indeed many other parts of Africa, today, is revealed in all its brutality in this book. Some of it is surprising, all of it is interesting. On many levels Deng Adut has given us a truly insightful memoir as he takes us right into the mind of a boy soldier and then reflects on how this has impacted on him as an adult. I was surprised at what he revealed as well as amazed that anyone could have survived physically or psychologically.
Aged well beyond his years, Deng’s assessment of his boyhood and then the challenges he faced as a youth trying to adapt to Australia, including the rationalisation of many major decisions, make for very emotional reading. No one could be unmoved by this story, reflecting as it does on issues as diverse as the true nature of democracy, the emotional ties to family and country as well as the capacity for people to adapt.
This is no Hollywood fairytale, there is no happy ending just the continuing demands of two worlds which Deng has managed to skillfully and successfully navigate. What he makes of the next phase of his life? Having come this far anything is possible.