Sunday, February 10, 2013
Book Review: Congo Dawn
Yes, it is Christian fiction, but Congo Dawn, by Jeanette Windle, could seemingly jump from today's international headlines. It is common practice for private security teams to go to places of conflict and unrest, so it is a natural assignment for Robin Duncan, a former Marine who had done a tour of duty in Afghanistan, to hire on for a multinational security assignment in the Congo. She feels responsible to provide for her niece's expensive surgery, and this mission pays handsomely. However, she soon finds that God has brought her to the Congo and placed her in a uniquely dangerous situation to face her unfinished faith and stunted personal growth.
An internationally represented corporation seeks to stop a rebel saboteur whom they paint as a ruthless murderer. This man, Robin has been led to believe, stands in the way of progress and an improved standard of life for the native people in the Congo whose land includes a mine of molybdenite. Robin soon finds all is not as it initially seemed and even those on her team she deemed trustworthy are harboring secrets. She faces a hard decision in the darkness of the jungle, one she can only make with a God who she has long left behind. Further, God isn't the only one she abandoned, and she also wrestles with facing the man she blames for her brother's death...a man she once thought she loved.
I had a hard time establishing in my head the "good guys" and "bad guys" in Windle's rapidfire presentation of political dynamics in the Congo that sprinkles the first few chapters of the book. I almost wanted to look up Congo history so I could be clear, even though I thought I had a passing knowledge of the issues. However, that is the only critique I have for this suspenseful book. The plot lines are complex enough to draw and keep the reader's attention and the book is difficult to put down. I found it a compelling illustration of those who are raised in the faith only to have difficult life events push them into bitter rejection of spiritual things...and the faithfulness of a loving God who wants them back in His arms and walking in the purposes He has had for them before the foundation of the world. Read this book and be assured of God's constant light in whatever dark circumstances He has allowed in your life.
I received this book for free from Tyndale Publishing for review purposes.