This is a book that definitely deserves a wider audience.
It is excellently summed up by the blurb on GoodReads: "Paradise Denied gives a face to the thousands of refugees who have no choice but leave behind their homes and risk their lives while hoping for a better destiny for themselves and their family."
Zekarias Kebraeb is Eritrean by birth. He enjoyed his childhood until, at the age of 17, he finished school and the bus was waiting at the school doors to transport the graduates off for their National Service - a duty that could last for 18 months, or could be a life-time commitment, no-one knew.
He had heard stories about National Service - his cousin had committed some perceived misdemeanour and been confined for two years in a metal shipping container as punishment, in intense heat and with little water or food.
Little wonder that he decided to attempt the treacherous journey to 'freedom'.
Having battled his way across the desert of the Sudan and then the stormy waters of the Mediterranean, he was horrified to discover that freedom was not waiting for him, in fact, many of his compatriots are shipped straight back to where they came from. The reception that awaits them back in Eritrea, is chilling.
This is a topical subject and I think it would give us all a more humane view if this book were more widely read.
I can't recommend it highly enough.