By Mark Wentling
I’ve been looking forward to the author’s next book after thoroughly enjoying “Africa’s Embrace,” which is part of his African Trilogy. I reviewed his book “Dead Cow Road,” which took place in Somalia, so I’m familiar with the author’s ability to spin an interesting yarn about far off places. Although the author was a Peace Corps volunteer in Togo, he was also a volunteer in Honduras for five years, so I’ve been waiting for a story that took place in Central America. The author’s work and travels span more than 46 years, which have taken him to 54 African countries. The author worked with USAID, the U.S. Foreign Service, CARE International and World Vision, making him an ideal person to spin this tale of international intrigue and political struggle in Central America.
The author’s story includes unexpected twists and turns moving from the death and destruction of one town to the rebuilding of a new town by survivors who lived to tell the story. Human foibles, very common in Central America, are displayed through many of the novel’s characters. A magical realism reminding me of the works of Gabriel Marques and “100 Years of Solitude,” lead to survival, love and marriage with an underlying evil below the surface, including an unforeseeable event, which defines the future of people in two countries.