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Library JournalHere am I, send me. The prophet Isaiah’s words (9:6) echo through Emma Davis’s mind as she faces the emptiness of her days as a plantation owner’s daughter. The handsome and passionate preacher visiting her backwoods Georgia community in 1840 speaks of bringing light into the darkness of Africa. Smitten with Pastor Henry Bowman and thirsty for the new life he speaks of, Emma marries Henry and joins him at a new mission post in Lagos. Uncle Eli, who has been a slave on her father’s plantation Emma’s entire life, gives her a simple gift before she leaves, which takes on fresh meaning during the journey across the African continent.
Verdict Lush, evocative, breathtaking in its descriptions, and deeply spiritual in its themes of love, forgiveness, and transformation, this extraordinary novel shines with light and depth. Reminiscent of Barbara Kingsolver’s magnum opus, The Poisonwood Bible, with elements of Joseph Conrad and Louise Erdrich, Orr’s stunning debut is starkly beautiful and true to life.—Julia M. Reffner, Fairport, NY
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