Hearts Among Ourselves

A novel by A. Happy Umwagarwa

About the Book

Karabo is a survivor of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, which claimed the life of her father and sisters, and now she is left alone and lonely in the midst of wounded hearts of Rwanda. She does not know the whereabouts of her mother.


When Karabo goes to live with her paternal uncle Kamanzi, a colonel in the new army, she meets Shema, another genocide survivor, one of her uncle’s young escorts. Shema’s charm gives Karabo some jingling. She will surrender her heart to him, but it’s complicated —Shema knows only a part of her story. Shall she reveal the other part of the story to him? She is bamboozled.


Hearts Among Ourselves is a story of love, hatred, and the intersection of the two. Karabo and Shema, two grieving orphans, grow up in a torn society—caught between the world of the living and the dead, and the conflict between the Hutus and the Tutsis. Some say love is like water—it flows with everything on its way. Will Karabo and Shema be swept up in its current or tossed to the shore?

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