Seniors Program North – Book Club for Seniors – CANCELLED

Programs for the remainder of March 2020 have been cancelled. Please call Melissa with any questions or concerns: 847-510-2060.

Most participants will use the free Talking Books player. The audio book player will be mailed to you at no cost, as well as all audio books. We can help you complete an application if you are not yet enrolled in the program. Friends, family members & caretakers are invited to participate as well. Please RSVP at: (847) 510-2060.

This month, we will discuss the non-fiction New York Times Bestseller, The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After. Clemantine Wamariya was six years old when her mother & father began to speak speak in whispers, when neighbors began to disappear, & when she heard the loud, ugly sounds her brother said were thunder. In 1994, she & her fifteen-year-old sister, Claire, fled the Rwandan massacre & spent the next six years migrating through seven African countries, searching for safety—perpetually hungry, imprisoned & abused, enduring & escaping refugee camps, finding unexpected kindness, witnessing inhuman cruelty. They did not know whether their parents were dead or alive. When Clemantine was twelve, she & her sister were granted refugee status in the United States; there, in Chicago, their lives diverged. Though their bond remained unbreakable, Claire, who had for so long protected & provided for Clemantine, was a single mother struggling to make ends meet, while Clemantine was taken in by a family who raised her as their own. She seemed to live the American dream: attending private school, taking up cheerleading, and, ultimately, graduating from Yale. Yet the years of being treated as less than human, of going hungry & seeing death, could not be erased. She felt at the same time six years old & one hundred years old. In The Girl Who Smiled Beads, Clemantine provokes us to look beyond the label of “victim” & recognize the power of the imagination to transcend even the most profound injuries & aftershocks. Devastating yet beautiful, & bracingly original, it is a powerful testament to her commitment to constructing a life on her own terms.


Unless otherwise noted, all programs take place at the Chicago Lighthouse North at 222 Waukegan Road, Glenview, IL 60025. Please call (847) 510-6200 to RSVP for all events.