A gripping memoir of the more than ten years
Louise Géesedeh Barton spent on the run...


ouise was born in Monrovia, Liberia, but was raised in a humble village over 200 miles east of her birthplace as a member of the Naio clan of the indigenous Krahn tribe. Just over two years after enduring the trauma of separation at a very young age from her mother, her father sent her to live in Monrovia as a domestic servant so she might receive a quality education and be raised in modern society.

During her life as a domestic servant, Louise suffered many trials, and subsisted on only three to four hours of sleep each night — yet this period of her life strengthened her inner resolve and her ability to withstand persecution and hardship; an ability she would have to call on in the years of horror and depravity that would come her way when Liberia finally exploded into civil war at the end of 1989. In addition, while living in Monrovia Louise was surprised to learn that she was related to the family of Liberia’s president, Samuel K. Doe, who was also a member of the Krahn tribe, and the first member of an indigenous tribe to serve as the president of Liberia since its founding in 1847 by freed American slaves.

On December 24, 1989, a few months after Louise completed high school and had begun to attend college in Monrovia, a band of Libyan-trained, Liberian rebels, who called themselves the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) led by Charles G. Taylor, a former government official, invaded Liberia from the Ivory Coast. Their goal was to overthrow what Taylor called, “The corrupt and dictatorial regime,” of President Samuel K. Doe.

With the outbreak of the civil war, Louise's being a member of the native ethnic Krahn tribe and related to the first family made her an instant target, and forced her to run for her life. Rebels consisting of men, women, and children pursued her. Children, as young as six or seven — drugged, fearless, trained in killing techniques, and totally ruthless — were hunting down and killing Krahn and Mandingo tribe members, as well as many others.

Making matters worse, Charles Taylor additionally trained and supplied a Sierra Leone-focused rebel group known as the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) with the intention of destabilizing the country. After barely escaping with her life into Sierra Leone, Louise found herself chased across the entire country by RUF rebels — who, like the NPFL rebels, were out for Krahn blood. The RUF also used children soldiers and included, at one point, up to 23,000 of them.

So Far to Run is the firsthand account of Louise's life as a struggling young girl, a girl who desperately wanted acceptance and love, and as a refugee who spent more than ten years on the run as a hunted animal. Louise's story is one you will find unforgettable, and it will inspire and encourage you to persevere and prevail over any trials that may come your way.

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I read this book in one day. Once you start reading you won't be able to put it down.

Fran Lewis

There are few books that have impacted me so deeply as Louise Géesedeh Barton's SO FAR TO RUN.

Cyrus Webb

Rarely is a memoir written in such singularly powerful fashion as this one.

Andrea Huehnerhoff

Her story caught my breath mid-chest and brought tears to my eyes on many occasions.

Jennifer Gehlhar