Reviewed by Jamie Driggers
Feeling empty following the slow death of his wife, and on sabbatical to put his life back together, cardiologist Charles Anderson finds himself volunteering as the doctor on site at a refugee camp on the other side of the globe. But when the refugees never arrive and tensions rise to dangerous proportions with a bordering country, he finds that even his altruistic intentions don’t follow their planned course.
This is one of those books that will stay with you long after you read the last page. The depth of character is such that I still find myself wondering what is going on in their lives before I remember they exist only on paper. Even beyond the basic plot, there are statements and insights commenting on the human condition that will stun you in both their simplicity and depth. I find myself recounting some of these things, unable to put into words what was so eloquently written and, giving up, I will tell you, “Never mind. Just read the book. You’ll know what I mean.”
This is a haunting story of a man trying to escape himself–when all that he has done is to make himself seems so pointless. It is a story of husbands and fathers, servants and masters, stature and status. It is achingly beautiful and horrifyingly ugly. And shows just what man will do for his family. He paints a fascinating picture of cultural differences through the eyes of this American doctor in the unnamed Islamic country. The struggle. The pride. Striving. Family. And how, even though we are so very different, in the end, we are much the same.
Author Huyler is an emergency physician in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Armchair Interviews says: Powerful 5-star read that will haunt your thoughts long after you finish reading it.