A book with a plot this intense deserves a clear and descriptive narrative voice to tell the story right. Jeanette Windle gives us that story in Congo Dawn.
This is my fist adventure with one of Jeanette's books, and I sure hope to go on more.
"Tragic and yet Triumphant" that would be my description of this tale, and of characters in it.
In Congo Dawn we meet Christina Robin Duncan, the second and youngest Duncan daughter born after a difficult pregnancy for her beautiful and kindhearted mother.
Born into a family where the men were Marines and the women married Marines, Robin was accepted by her earthy father for a short time as a substitute for the son he wanted to have.
Even her name was a concession to the tradition of naming a Duncan son: "Christopher Robert."
And she was that 'son': a strong and sturdy girl unlike her feminine older sister. She pleased her father as much as a girl could until her brother was born.
Immediately, the family name that her's derived from was properly conferred upon the boy, and it was assumed that the Duncan's proud Marine legacy would be passed on to the one son as well.
However, of the two siblings who were also best friends, Robin and Chris, it was the girl who wanted to join the Marines, and the boy who was a talented artist.
Eventually, Chris and Robin both became Marines...she of choice through the ROTC and he to earn money for art education.
A childhood cut short by deep loss bonded the siblings together in ways few family members ever know, and it was fitting that they serve together in the military and that they have the same close friend to complete their circle...that friend was Michael Stewart.
We meet him in this story: a tough and determined Navy Medic who was seriously wounded in the war and is now returned to his childhood roots as a missionary surgeon, like his father.
He is committed to serving the people of Africa's DRC, and he is unafraid to reach his hands toward the ravages the brutal fighting has left.
In his soul burns a faith that has truly been tempered as gold, like the faith of his sister Miriam. Miriam is also a missionary at the medical clinic, and her own story is one of the most heart-breaking and heart-healing parts of this book.... as well as one of the most powerful influences in Robin's journey to find resolution for her questions.
And what a journey it is. Serious, sobering, and leaves you rejoicing that, truly, "The smallest flame shines brightest against the darkest night."
Strong characters, African history, and a look into the human heart as it cries out to God over the absolute misery left in the wake of war and violence...that is why you should read Congo Dawn.
INTERNATIONAL INTRIGUE WITH INSPIRATIONAL IMPACT!!
A daughter of American missionaries, Jeanette Windle grew up in the jungles and small towns of Colombia, now guerrilla hot zones. In 1981, Jeanette graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Biblical Studies and Theology from Prairie Bible College in Three Hills, Alberta. In 1985, Jeanette and her husband Martin moved to Bolivia to work with a nondenominational Christian ministry organization. While her husband served as director, Jeanette worked with women and children at risk in varied regions of Bolivia.
Jeanette began her publishing/writing career producing Spanish-language educational and inspirational material for women and children at risk as well as writing articles for a variety of international publications. This was followed over the next years by eight children's books, including the six books of the Parker Twins Adventure Series, a young adult mystery/suspense series set in a multi-cultural background, and a teen novel, Jana’s Journal. Her first major adult political/suspense novel, CrossFire, set against background the counter-narcotics war in Bolivia she was witnessing firsthand, was released in 2000. This was followed by The DMZ, set in the guerrilla zones of Colombia where she grew up, and FireStorm, all published by Kregel Publications. Betrayed, set in the background of Guatemala's fifty year civil conflict, was released by Tyndale House Publishers in 2008, followed byAfghanistan titles Veiled Freedom, a 2010 ECPA Christian Book Award finalist and Christy Award finalist and its sequel,Freedom's Stand, 2012 ECPA Christian Book Award finalist and Carol Award finalist and 2011 AWSA (Advanced Writer Speaker Association) 2011 Golden Scroll Novel of the Year. Her most recent novel Congo Dawn, set in the Ituri rainforest conflict zones, released February, 2013.
Jeanette and her husband Marty moved to Miami in June, 2000, when her husband assumed the position of Vice-President of General Services for Latin America Mission, a nondenominational Christian ministry organization working throughout Latin America. In January, 2006, they moved again to Lancaster, PA, when Marty accepted the position of President of BCM International, another nondenominational ministry organization serving in 50 countries on five continents.
Jeanette is editor of BCM World magazine, speaks and travels extensively both in the U.S. and internationally, and serves as consulting editor and mentor in developing writers from the U.S. and Canada to Mexico, Guatemala, Ecuador, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Spain, Croatia, Philippines and more. She is recipient of Focus on Fiction’s 2005 Deserted Island Book Award (i.e. the reading material of choice if one were headed to a deserted island). Jeanette is also recipient of the South Florida Writers Association 2004 Celebrity Author’s Award and 2002 Mabel Meadows Staats Award. She served for three years as VP of Publication for the South Florida Writers Association and president of Miami-Dade Christian Writers and is currently president of Lancaster Christian Writers. Marty and Jeanette have four children.