“Day of the Elephants” by Ron Swager and Ed Chinn

Ron Swager and Ed Chinn deliver an excellent recollection on life during the Civil War in the African nation of Liberia.  The protagonist of their non-fiction tale is a young Liberian refugee named Roland Deah.

Through the pens of Swager and Chinn, Deah tells the story of his boyhood, the loss of his own family, his extended family, and friends.  The atrocities of this brutal Civil War were witnessed first hand by the young Roland, who survived for many years as a refugee through his own efforts, as well as the love and support of fellow refugees.  The brutalities witnessed by this young man are atrocious.  The fact that Roland survived these years is a miracle in itself, and the basis of the story.

The book is not terribly long (around 100 pages) and can be a quick read.  I, however, found myself stopping along the way to really grasp the realities that were Roland’s life.  Being a short, and very well written book, I’m hesitant to discuss specific stories as they will be spoilers.  In a book of this sort, I think it’s important for the reader to experience Roland’s life through the story.

And., through the entire book, you find yourself worrying, fretting for him, as well as experiencing feelings of relief and celebration, as Roland’s life is touched by God’s magnificent grace.   Roland Deah is indeed a captivating individual, and the author’s have managed to show that in their skillfully written story.

It’s a story of tragedy and triumph.  But, be prepared for some disturbing recollections about the realities of war.  I do, however, highly recommend this book for the mature reader looking to broaden his/her knowledge about the struggles of individuals in the Third World.

I believe that you, too, will grow to love and respect this soul, and will rejoice as his triumph finally comes.  Enjoy!!

I received a review version of this book for the purpose of providing the publisher with an honest and timely review.  This review is also posted on Netgalley.com, as well as Amazon.com.

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