Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The White Mary-Kira Salak

The White Mary
Kira Salak
Holt, Aug 2008, $25.00
ISBN: 978085088472

Globetrotting reporter Marika Vecera adored renowned war correspondent Robert Lewis, who has reported on some of the most heinous genocides humanity has done. Thus she has problems accepting the repot that her hero committed suicide as that is so out of character for a man who would courageously go to the next hot spot to expose atrocities.

When Marika reads a letter from a missionary she holds out hope that Robert is alive somewhere in remote Papua, New Guinea though she wonders why he is there. She decides to learn the truth as to whether he lives and if so why New Guinea.

Marika’s quest is well written and harrowing as she deals with horrific third world conditions including deadly sanitation, unclean water, disease, torture that even Cheney could not redefine otherwise and ceremonial rites of passage murders. However, though obviously a thriller, the insightful look at Marika as she witnesses first hand the horrendous gruesome mistreatment of humans towards other humans is horrific. To mentally survive she has to go numb because if she personalizes the incidents she sees and been embroiled in she would break down due to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Readers will marvel as she keeps a flicker of hope that mankind will learn and redeem itself even as she trots off to the next atrocity.

Harriet Klausner