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Taylor (High Places), an Oklahoma pastor and writer who reviews books for PW, chronicles the life, faith, and adventures of Dr. Amanda Madrid, an indigenous Honduran missionary doctor. Following the fierce female philanthropist as she faces gender inequality, drug-related violence, and questions about her calling, the narrative moves between the past, with scenes from Madrid's childhood, and her recent history. All the while, the account offers insights into her robust faith and divine calling to serve addicts, confront drug cartels, and work with Hondurans in need who live in areas reminiscent of America's Wild West. The book unfolds slowly and gets mired in the mundane at times, but picks up with riveting tales of the doctor's bold heroism in the face of adversity. While the slower parts fail to engage, they still provide context and insight into Honduran family life and culture and are bookended by stories of justice and bravery on the part of Madrid and her compatriots. Those interested in medical missions, Central American culture, justice issues, or a narrative biography of a courageous Christian woman will find the book worth reading. (Sept.)
Lay Down Your Guns is a work of narrative non-fiction. It's a true story that reads like a novel. This is my favorite kind of book to read and to write: in this case a story of a fascinating Honduran female doctor who faced great adversity with courage and compassion.
I spent more than a year researching and writing the book, including a visit to Honduras with my 16-year-old daughter, Anna, who helped me with more than fifty interviews, mountains of notes, thousands of photos to sort through, and communicating in Spanish.
The interviews were done in English because Dr. Amanda Madrid is a much better English speaker than I am a Spanish speaker. Dr. Madrid has an iPad that switches all menus to Spanish and occasionally it changes something from English to Spanish or reverse. One time she was writing about a spinal cord injury and here's the email translation I received: "Spinach Cordoba injure," which sounds tasty!
Dr. Madrid is a spunky, fun-loving, joyous person who is doing serious work in the mountains of Honduras. I believe you will truly enjoy the book and be inspired by her life. There are not enough great stories like hers, written in form of stories to inspire readers. I truly believe Dr. Amanda Madrid's story is one worthy of your purchase today on Amazon and a story you will want to pass on to others.
Grace and Peace,
Greg R. Taylor