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In the middle of Kigali is a swimming pool at the Hotel des Mille-Collines. It is a magnet for a privileged group of residents, a place where international experts mix with aid-workers, middle-class Rwandans drink with melancholy expatriates and prostitutes. But beyond the walls of the hotel exists the underbelly of a chaotic society. Thousands of households are affected by violence, disease and poverty. Amid this troubled world, a Canadian journalist named Valcourt falls for a beautiful Hutu waitress who goes by the name of Gentille. Their relationship develop as militiamen pass out machetes in the neighbourhoods. Civil unrest threatens what little order remains in the city. When news of the trouble reaches the world of the hotel, both Valcourt and Gentille speak out against the brutal attacks but are met with apathetic UN forces, corrupt policemen and the blindness of western media outlets. A microcosm for the competing powers and influential groups in Rwanda, A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali looks at those involved in one of the most tragic events of the twentieth century. It is a powerful political novel, a poignant love story and a stirring hymn to humanity.
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