Review Title: Unexpected Treasures In War-Torn Sudan (review of Long Walk Home by DiAnn Mills)
Reviewer: Janice S. Garey
***** 5 Stars
This novel draws the reader into new territory for most who will read it. War-torn Sudan becomes a refuge from past losses and regrets for the main character, Dr. Larson Kerr, who came from America to give healthcare in an area of hardship and lack. She cares deeply for the people of Southern Sudan and dedicates her educational background and emotional energy to making a better life for those in a third world area devastated by war. She has turned her back toward God who she feels failed her in the life she left behind.
The plot deepens when an Arab, once Muslim, turned Cbristian, flies medical supplies in for the clinic. Paul Farid presents quite a puzzle to those he encounters on his aviation mission in Sudan. The Sudanese military commander watching over the clinic has a distinct mistrust of Paul and counts him to be a deceptive enemy. As time passes, both the military commander and the missionary aviation pilot develop romantic feelings for Dr. Larson Kerr. Tension grows. Reasons exist for each of these three to keep romantic feelings contained so the reader keeps turning pages to find out if love will blossom.
Suspense enters the story with the abduction of the sister of the commander. She has been working in the clinic and is under training with Dr. Larson. Her rescue depends on the two men working together to locate her if she is still alive and bring her back home. Another young man replaces the young lady in her absence at the clinic as Dr. Larson’s helper. Against the wishes of Dr. Larson, the young man is drawn to join the military at too young an age. He also must be located and persuaded if possible to go back to the clinic and then pursue his education.
The character development in this book goes deep into the hearts involved. The setting, at first unfamiliar to the reader, quickly begins to feel like home in a far away land that has few modern amenities to distract from relational time with others. The storyline moves along without any tangles to confuse the reader. It offers plenty of curiosity whetting for readers who wish to find out the romantic resoluton along with the suspense resolution of a dramatic rescue attempt.
For those who wish to read about particular issues, this book generally covers human trafficking and slavery, military clashes over lands between Muslims and Christians, racial prejudice, trust, and rejection of religious beliefs and restoration of faith. It also includes the issue involving young men who are inducted into military service when they are not yet adults. Finally, the issue of running away from problems and how that never works plays a big part in the story.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys observing a subtle development of a love story, along with having an opportunity to learn about an African country, and learning what it is like to live and work in an area where groups are at war within the boundaries of a country. This is my first book to read by this well known and beloved author. I hope to read the sequel and other books by her.