“During wartime, a man will not only find the person he hates to kill him, but he will find and kill anyone whom he thinks the person he hates loves or knows or once did business with.”

Genre: Biography/Autobiography
Published: March 2021
Publisher: Pushkin Press
Pages: 248
Rate: 4.5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Goodreads Synopsis
An engrossing memoir of escaping the First Liberian Civil War and building a life in the United States.

When Wayétu Moore turns five years old, her father and grandmother throw her a big birthday party at their home in Monrovia, Liberia, but all she can think about is how much she misses her mother, who is working and studying in faraway New York. Before she gets the reunion her father promised her, war breaks out in Liberia. The family is forced to flee their home on foot, walking and hiding for three weeks until they arrive in the village of Lai. Finally, a rebel soldier smuggles them across the border to Sierra Leone, reuniting the family and setting them off on yet another journey, this time to the United States.

Spanning this harrowing journey in Moore’s early childhood, her years adjusting to life in Texas as a black woman and an immigrant, and her eventual return to Liberia, The Dragons, the Giant, the Women is a deeply moving story of the search for home in the midst of upheaval. Moore has a novelist’s eye for suspense and emotional depth, and this unforgettable memoir is full of imaginative, lyrical flights and lush prose. In capturing both the hazy magic and the stark realities of what is becoming an increasingly pervasive experience, Moore shines a light on the great political and personal forces that continue to affect many migrants around the world, and calls us all to acknowledge the tenacious power of love and family.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the publisher for review but all thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and my own.

My Take
I loved this book! I have read Wayétu Moore’s debut novel, She Would Be King, and I knew then as I know now that she’s an auto buy /auto read author for me.

The Dragon, The Giants, The Women is a Memoir that follows Wayétu Moore and her family through the civil war in Liberia. The book is brilliantly written, with evocative sentences that would have me sit back and internalise. Wayétu Moore is a wonderful story teller, and she brings us along her journey as a 5 year old to now when she’s in her 30s. I couldn’t put the book down.

The book is gripping, and deeply personal. With themes of loss and effects of war, The Dragon, The Giants, The Women gives insights to what it was like during the time, and a glimpse into what life is for an immigrant to a new country. Wayétu Moore touches on family, identity, race and colorism in her new life in America and how it affected her and her relationships, which is really interesting to read.

Wayétu Moore grabbed my attention from the first page till the last, and part of me was sad when I finished the book. I’m not ready to let it go yet.

If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend it! And if you have, let me know what you thought about it.