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Congo Dawn Paperback – February 1, 2013
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*Starred Review* The Congo, a place with a past as murky as the rivers trailing through its rain forest, is home to some of the world’s best natural resources and worst treatment of its citizens. When former marine lieutenant Robin Duncan accepts a private contract to work as a translator in securing molybdenum mining rights for a large corporation, she presumes the mission to be straightforward. However, the warning of a local villager, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil,” begins to ring true as Robin discovers the miseries the Congolese are suffering as a result of international corporate interests; hunts down a killer; and confronts her past when she meets up again with Michael Stewart, a fellow marine who betrayed her trust and who harbors his own painful memories. Congo Dawn marks another brilliant foray by award-winning Windle (Freedom’s Stand, 2011), a child of missionaries, into the ambiguous worlds of war-torn regions. She effortlessly blends journalistic objectivity, humanitarian interest, faith-based inspiration, and the struggle of individuals to determine what is right. Windle’s writing is engrossing, and this tale of moral suspense is a must-read. --Carolyn Richard
"Windle comes off a highly acclaimed pair of books on Afghanistan (Veiled Freedom, Freedom's Stand) and moves into the jungles of the Congo. . . . The author doesn't limit character development to [protagonist] Robin Duncan, but also deeply develops accessible and multidimensional African characters. Inverting the Heart of Darkness trope of self-discovery in the jungle, this story sheds light through a great faith struggle . . . " Publishers Weekly, December, 2012
"Congo Dawn marks another brilliant foray by award-winning Windle (Freedom's Stand, 2011), a child of missionaries, into the ambiguous worlds of war-torn regions. She effortlessly blends journalistic objectivity, humanitarian interest, faith-based inspiration, and the struggle of individuals to determine what is right. Windle's writing is engrossing, and this tale of moral suspense is a must-read." American Library Association Booklist, January, 2013
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I love how in every one of her books you are left with real life issues to ponder. Her books are not fluffy reads that you forget a few days later. Congo Dawn opened my eyes to how it must be like for rural areas to be taken over in the name of "progress."
One thing you have to realize when you pick up one of Windles books is that the first 100 pages set the stage for the action in the rest of the book. I am a reader that usually decides at the 100 page point if I am that into it. If you are like me, hang in there, because this is when things just get rolling!
The reason I did not give 5 stars is because I think DMZ was better action wise.
Trevor Mulroney is horrified to find that the interpretor he has hired as part of his security team, Chris R. Duncan, is in fact a woman. Robin, as she is called, is an ex Marine who was deployed in Afghanistan. It is there that she knew Michael Stewart, who she is surprised to meet again in the Congo. Michael, who is now a qualified doctor, was a medical orderly in Afghanistan and she blames him for her brother's death. They haven't seen one another for five years, and whilst Michael is still a committed Christian who loves out his faith, Robin has lost her childhood faith and feels very far from God. It is Michael's sister Miriam, with her loving ministry, and the danger that Robin finds herself in, that cause her to draw close to the Lord once again.
While it doesn't take long for Michael and Robin to uncover the truth about what happened that dreadful day in Afghanistan, it takes longer for them to uncover the truth about what is really happening in the Ituri rainforest, what really happened to the local population and why the mine workers are being held as prisoners.
The Are Solutions operatives are going to be well paid for this mission, which is very important for Mulroney, who stands to lose everything if it fails. The mine has been sabotaged by the man they call Jini, the ghost, and these soldiers, together with some of President Wamba's men, are hunting him like an animal.
Robin is a dedicated operative and does her job well, but this assignment is especially important to her as her sister's child of four needs expensive surgery in order to survive. Little Kristi is the only person that Robin has allowed herself to love and she wants to help by paying for her operation.
We see how Robin learns that God is able to supply His children's needs without her help, and we see her great bravery and compassion when put to the test.
The characters are well portrayed, the setting is beautifully described and the story is full of biblical truth. There is much food for thought in this novel and I can highly recommend it.
For more of my reviews see my blog, [...]
If so, then this book is for you. Author Jeanette Windle leads her characters through a well-crafted story that bring them face to face with these questions. Each has faced personal tragedy, each sees the injustice in their present situation, each has their own reasons for trusting God—or not trusting him.
As the action intensifies, and the plot takes yet another twist, the characters must dig deep into their hearts in order to choose the best course among confusing options. You’ll have to read it to decide whether they succeeded.