Title: Congo Dawn
Author: Jeanette Windle
“Why doesn’t God at least protect those who don’t deserve to be hurt? Why should innocent people have to suffer for the sins of others? If the purpose for human suffering is to punish wrongdoing, well, that’s certainly justified from the viewpoint of a holy God,” Miriam explains to Robin in Jeanette Windle’s novel, Congo Dawn.
In this four hundred and seventy-two page tome, the concept of God forgiving man’s inhumanity and suffering in the Congo’s jungle is discussed. With no profanity yet violence of atrocities, oppression and mercenary tactics blended with romance, the book is targeted toward Christian women who like action, intrigue and solving personal relationships with the theme of eternal salvation blended among the pages. This reader wishes all pronouns related to God would be capitalized for reverence.
Female protagonist Robin Duncan, former Marine, is now working for Trevor Mulroney’s Ares Solutions recently allied with Earth Resources as a French and Swahili interpreter in the rainforest of Africa as the companies mine for molybdenite, a rare, expensive mineral. With his own secrets, Mulroney hides the fact the ore contains one of the highest amounts of rhenium, an even-more uncommon metal.
Michael, her deceased brother’s best friend, is now a doctor at the nearby Ituri missionary hospital, but they have not spoken since the sibling’s death five years ago. Jini, a smart, intellectual young man who discovered the precious graphite, is the supposed insurgent blamed for the attacks on the mine and ore-transport convoys when he is actually protecting the so-called prison workers from their mining duties. In reality, local mercenaries capture, destroy and burn the surrounding villages to protect the valued ore, only to blame it on Jini, the unattainable jungle ghost icon.
Behind the scenes, Robin is constantly worried about her sister and ill niece back in the States, Skyping and calling whenever possible, as she has tea and philosophical conversations with Michael’s sister about God and her past and present relationship with the doctor.
Outspoken at every turn, Robin questions her boss, Michael and her co-workers and in the end, helps solve not only the issue of land rights verses multinational mining, but protects the villagers and comes to term with her love for Michael as she realizes God is the One ultimately in control.
With so much minutia and long length of reading, the story could have been easily shortened, including the eighteen discussion questions at the end of the book. This tedious read may be interesting to one who wants to learn more about Congolese people, how their land is destroyed for international profit and their third-world lifestyle.