An overwhelming irony surrounds the death of Ishmael Beah's family in A Long Way Gone. All the while that Beah spends on the run, he desperately wants to find his family. In every village that he and his friends encounter, Beah first checks to see if his family has passed through the area. So, when Beah finally meets Gasemu and learns that his family has been staying in a nearby village, he is overjoyed. Ironically, when Beah arrives with Gasemu in the village, the rebels have beat them to it and have burned down the entire village. No remains are found, but Gasemu tells Beah that his family had been staying in a hut that is totally burned. This sad irony haunts Beah throughout the remainder of his story.