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Overall, “Running the Rift” is a fine novel with wonderful and complex characters who will draw in readers. While this is a fictional account of one Rwandan family, it undoubtedly parallels numerous real life stories. Readers seeking a detailed account of the reasons behind the genocide should look elsewhere. But those wanting a story they can connect to will greatly appreciate Ms. Benaron’s work.

• Jackie Stewart is a freelance writer in New York.