Brick by Brick
This powerful memoir weaves the stories of valiant women who survived the Rwandan genocide with the struggle of their champion, Karen Sherman, to recover from her own history of abuse. The strength of these women helped Karen find her own way—through conflict zones and confrontations with corrupt officials to a renewed commitment to her family.
After a twenty-five-year career spent fighting for women’s rights around the globe at the expense of time with her family, Karen Sherman looked around and realized she didn’t really know her children and felt little connection to her husband. With her world—work, marriage, family—crashing down, she made the rash decision to move to Rwanda with her three sons. While her boys attended the international school, she worked to better the lives of women survivors of war. But as the survivors—Josephine, Ange, Grace, Euphraise, Debora, Yvette, and Teresa—shared their stories of grit and determination, building lives and raising families despite the brutal challenges of war, genocide, and inequality, Karen began to see how her work was connected to the abuse in her own past, and how it was preventing her from becoming the woman she wanted to be. The struggles of these survivors, she realized, were the struggles of women everywhere, regardless of place or circumstance: striving to balance work and family, fighting for real options and choices, trying to make their voices heard. The strength of these women helped Karen find her own way through conflict zones and battles with corrupt politicians. In the end, the journey brings her home to her family and to a renewed commitment to fighting for women around the world to live free from violence and abuse, in peace and with dignity.