Malaika’s Miracle: Steve Adamson left two important things behind in Brazil: the pressed wood factory he’d started and the woman he loved. Malaika was pregnant; possibly with a rapist’s child, or possibly with Steve’s child. There had been enough killing, so she was determined to have the baby. Then paternity would be clear. None of that mattered to Steve; he’d asked her to marry him. Uncertain concerning her feelings and his motivation, she refused his offer. Two years passed ...
Malaika’s Miracle: Steve Adamson left two important things behind in Brazil: the pressed wood factory he’d started and the woman he loved. Malaika was pregnant; possibly with a rapist’s child, or possibly with Steve’s child. There had been enough killing, so she was determined to have the baby. Then paternity would be clear. None of that mattered to Steve; he’d asked her to marry him. Uncertain concerning her feelings and his motivation, she refused his offer.
Two years passed with Steve in California and unable to forget Malaika. He’d lost contact with her, even asking a friend in Rio de Janeiro to try to locate her, but with no success. Then came electrifying news—his friend had seen a woman resembling her, accompanied by a young girl, at a church in the neighboring state of Minas Gerais. At the same time, Steve’s former boss asked him to return to the factory they’d started in Northeast Brazil. The business was thriving and they needed his leadership for continued growth.
When Steve, or Esteves as he was known in Brazil, stepped off the plane in Rio’s airport, he knew he was home. Somewhere between the beaches of Rio, the dry deserts of the Northeast, and the tropical rain forests of Amazonas, he would find Malaika and convince her of his love. Together they would become part of Brazil’s economic miracle.
Malaika’s Miracle is the continuation of the story of Esteves and Malaika, which began in House of Miracles. In the sequel, Malaika’s mother Glória is on the run from a local politician who raided her bordello when he saw her as a threat to his reelection. He wants Glória dead, and the entire family is threatened. Sampaio, a Rio cop and Glória’s ex-husband, decides to intervene, with surprising results.
Vargas and Sergio, two elderly Brazilians who are friends of Esteves, help bring the couple together, while meanwhile experiencing the ups and downs of their own (mostly Vargas) love affairs. When Esteves’ boss decides to run for the state assembly, Malaika becomes his campaign manager, and when he retires, runs for his old seat in the assembly. She becomes the first black woman elected to the state assembly.
Esteves’ and Malaika’s daughter, Gabriela, is destined for greatness, according to Malaika’s gods. But, as everyone knows, the gods in Brazil are fickle and unpredictable, the economy takes wild swings, and the Brazilian Northeast is still a raw frontier with corrupt politicians, vengeful cops who take the law into their own hands, and periodic droughts that ravage the land. Meanwhile, Brazil’s government arrests any citizen suspected of dissent, imprisons, tortures, and sometimes kills them—all in secrecy. All Malaika can hope for is that the goddess Iemanjá will watch over and protect her family.
Malaika’s Miracle continues the tale that began in House of Miracles, embellishing the story with the rich traditions of Brazil, its superstitious peasants, folk legends, lusty women, colorful history, and the richness of its diverse culture of European settlers intermingled with the indigenous Indians and African slaves.
Craig B. Smith lived and worked in Brazil. His experiences there formed the backdrop for the novel "House of Miracles," for which this is a sequel. He is the author of several other books, including How the Great Pyramid Was Built, Extreme Waves, and Counting the Days: POWs, Internees, and Stragglers of WWII in the Pacific, recently published by Smithsonian Book.