Author: Lisa Harris
Rating: Spend the day sleepy (five stars out of five)
Last year, I read Lisa Harris’ first novel, Blood Ransom (http://inotherwords.terrijhaynes.com/2010/05/tea-read-blood-ransom.html). Since then, I am more impressed with Harris writings and her life.
This second book picks up where the first left off, an African country in turmoil. It introduces two new characters, Dr. Paige Ryan and Nick Gilbert, humanitarian aid workers. I instantly fell in love with these two characters because their flaws were balanced and credible. No going into depression about a hang nail here. The characters have problems and realistic reasons why they have those problems.
Paige really gripped my attention because of her response to the death and destruction of life she sees. I understand how she feels because I imagine I will feel the same way. She handles the overwhelming nature of the work she is to do much the way many humanitarian workers do, battling hopelessness with hope.
Harris has also done a great job of realistically portraying the life of humanitarian workers. The climate of uncertainty and danger carries through the book, making it a quick read and a page turner. And the writing doesn’t hinder the flow of the story. Harris’ descriptions create a great atmosphere to the novel. They give the perfect picture of the beauty of the untamed jungles and mountain peaks of
Africa, but also give a stark picture of the reality of refugee camps and the pain and suffering there.
Beyond Harris’ highlight on the problems with war in improvised countries, the story doesn’t just rely on that to be gripping. Harris’ includes some interesting plot turns that keep the conflict and suspense up to nail-biting levels. She doesn’t use the horrors of the RD as shock value. This story very much about how Nick and Paige respond to the desolation they see.
I mentioned that I wasn’t just impressed with Harris’ writing, but with the author as a person. I recently discovered that Harris’ has begun her own non-profit humanitarian organization at God’s prompting (http://web.me.com/sgharris/TheEchoProject/Welcome.html). Such bravery and courage. I will read as many more of Harris’ books as she writes and am looking forward to the day that I can support her work in reaching out those in need.