Another typically thoughtful and deep post from dear friend, master teacher and avid reader David Russell:
Jeff, I love this book; I just finished reading it myself. Yes, Mountains Beyond Mountains is Kidder’s “penultimate book”, but we can always use to deepen our understanding of how people persevere or in this case find strength in what remains. What a story! I wish I could hear Kidder Wednesday night myself. I wonder at the skill it takes to write a book like this: Before considering the technical composition, I marvel at the development of the relationship with the subject (Deo) and the patient assemblage of information and understanding. How can he remember so much of what went on in their travels? How much did he write down on they moved around? Inspiring may be an overused word, trivialized sometimes, but I think it fits well here. The world is a better place because of Deo, and he has been able to become who he is with the assistance of the wonderful others that Kidder chronicles in this volume. Nice also to get the perspective of events in Burundi; as you wrote, Rwanda has gotten a lot of–deserved–attention, but so little do we tend to know about its southern neighbor. Thank you for keeping up your writing. It helps keep many others of us more current with all the valuable and stimulating publishing that keeps on coming. Take care my friend, and we will talk soon. Best to your family.