In Ishmael Beah's memoir A Long Way Gone, family plays an important role. Ishmael recounts his experiences amid violence in his homeland of Sierra Leone. Ishmael, just twelve years old, travels to visit his grandmother, and while he is gone his village is attacked. More upsetting than his destroyed home is not knowing if his family has survived the attack. Ishmael's desire to find his family, and the lessons they taught him about being a man, help him survive. Ishmael eventually is forced to become a child soldier who commits atrocious acts of violence. The suffering and the loss of family Ishmael, and the other child soldiers, endure reveals another side of these children. The idea of family and longing for it gives Ishmael hope, and he is able to begin the process of healing when he is reunited with his uncle.