I was expecting a book about the women of the Congo. Instead, I got a book about a white, middle class, American woman with no understanding of her own privilege, and no compassion for the plight of others. Here's some specific reasons why you absolutely should not waste your time reading this book:
(1) When I finished the book, I knew more about the author's failed relationship and taste in men than about the Congo. This was rectified by a 30 minute Google search (seriously, 30 minutes on the internet and you will know more about the plight of Congolese women than after finishing the entire book, hands down).
(2) The author has no cultural sensitivity or understanding of how to deal with her Congolese "sisters," so I spent most of the book thinking "she didn't - oh no, she wouldn't - not even she could be so stupid - no, no no..." When she asked a room full of traumatized women who didn't know her or each other, in front of a camera, to raise their hands if they'd been raped, that was bad. But then when she endangered her entire entourage by missing a boat because she wanted a woman (who was clearly traumatized and didn't want to) to list the names of her ten dead children for the camera, that was worse. Then, when she spent a day trying to track down three children who'd been raped by the army so they could talk about it in front of the camera, that was pretty bad, and trying to send away "the men"," including their father and brother but not her male translator, made it worse. The list of thoughtlessly cruel incidents is endless. She spent her whole five weeks in the Congo voyeuristically tracking down the "worst," "most traumatic" stories she could find, and then trying to film sound clips from the women who suffered through them, WITHOUT EVEN ONCE asking herself how that made them feel.
(3) The author is seriously self-absorbed about it. Some women were willing to talk to her, generally because they thought she'd give them something for it - money, help - and she was offended by this. She wanted them to talk to her out of friendship. When she'd never met them, and just waltzed into their country and war zone without doing enough basic research to figure out how to ask them politely.
(4) The author was terribly entitled about everything. She wanted tours of NGOs, busy people's time and resources, and a lot of them gave it to her - but a lot of them didn't. She didn't thank the first, and she was offended by the second. It was like she didn't understand that everyone wasn't a tourist - that most people in the Congo are busy working.
I could go on forever, but I won't bother. I'm sorry I bought this book, and I rarely say that, even about a bad read. At the least, do yourself a favor and get it out of the library so you won't regret the $10 later.