Scared: A Novel on the Edge of the World

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Overview

Stuart Daniels has hit bottom. Once a celebrated and award-winning photojournalist, he is reeling from debt, a broken marriage, and crippling depression. The source of Stuart's grief is his most famous photo, a snapshot of brutality in the dangerous Congo. A haunting image that indicts him as a passive witness to gross injustice.

Stuart is given a one last chance to redeem his career: A make-or-break assignment covering the AIDS crisis in a small African country. It is here that Stuart meets Adanna, a young orphan fighting for survival in a community ravaged by tragedy and disease. But in the face of overwhelming odds, Adanna finds hope in a special dream, where she is visited by an illuminated man and given a precious gift.

Now, in a dark place that's a world away from home, Stuart will once again confront the harsh reality of a suffering people in a forgotten land. And as a chance encounter becomes divine providence, two very different people will find their lives forever changed.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Nonfiction author Davis (Fields of the Fatherless) makes his fiction debut with a story about two people worlds apart who help each other find redemption. An orphan girl in Swaziland faces abuse by her uncle but endures through visions of "the illuminated man" who she believes will take her to her dead mother's side. When photographer Stuart Daniels discovers the girl near death, he enlists a pastor and a village chief to help her and her two siblings. Facing floods, confronting fraud by an aid agency, and absorbing a brutal attack by one of many desperate starving people may be the only path toward atonement for Stuart's past life. Davis shows insight into African cultures and his writing is vivid, but the novel is weakened by shifts in tense and point of view and lack of patience for character transformation. The novel is the first of three; the series could become popular if the quality of the writing can improve to do justice to the passion with which the author champions his cause.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781589191020
  • Publisher: Cook, David C.
  • Publication date: 6/1/2009
  • Edition description: New
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Tom Davis is an author, consultant, and the president of Children's HopeChest ( www.hopechest.org) a Christian-based child advocacy organization helping orphans in Eastern Europe and Africa. His first book, Fields of the Fatherless has sold over 60,000 copies. Tom holds a Business and Pastoral Ministry degree from Dallas Baptist University and a Master's Degree in Theology from The Criswell College.

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Read an Excerpt

Scared

A NOVEL ON THE EDGE OF THE WORLD


By TOM DAVIS

David C. Cook

Copyright © 2009 Tom Davis
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4347-0033-9



CHAPTER 1

Democratic Republic of the Congo, Africa, 1998


Ten years ago I was a dead man.

It all began when Lou, my broker from Alpha Agency, said, "Stuart, how would you feel about heading to the Congo? Time is putting together a crew and needs a hot photographer."

He asked; I went. That's how I got paid then. It's how I get paid now.

My job was to cover a breaking story on a rebel uprising that would soon turn into genocide. Unfortunately, neither Lou nor any of us were privy to that valuable information at the time. We should have seen it coming. The frightening tribal patterns resembled the bloodbath between the Hutu and Tutsi in Rwanda in 1994. We knew what happened there had spilled over to the DRC—but we ignored it.

Our job was to focus on the story of the moment, whatever we might find. But this was more than a search for journalistic truth. It was an opportunity to win a round of a most dangerous game—the chase for a prizewinning picture.


The plane landed in the capital city of Kinshasa. A man in combat fatigues stood near a large black government car. Six armed guards toting fully automatic rifles flanked him.

"That must be the mayor and his six closest comrades," I said to our writer, Mike, as I swung my heavy neon orange bag over my shoulder. "Welcome to a world where you are not in control." This was Mike's first international assignment. I swear his knees buckled.

Our team consisted of me; Mike, shipped in from Holland (a lower executive from Time who was looking for a thrill and trying to escape his adulterous wife for a few weeks); and Tommy, the grip, whose job it was to carry our gear.

"Welcome to the Democratic Republic of Congo. I am Mayor Mobutu." We introduced ourselves, exchanging the traditional French niceties.

"Bonjour, monsieur."

"I must go and attend to some urgent matters, but there is a car waiting for you. These guards will take you out to Rutshuru, North Kivu."

He pointed to a Land Cruiser near the airport building. The mayor's face carried the scars of a rough life. His right cheek looked as if someone tried to carve a Z into it. His left eye was slightly lazy, giving you the feeling he was looking over your shoulder, even when you were face-to-face.

He turned to me. "You know how dangerous it is here. You are taking your life into your own hands, and we will not be responsible. We keep telling reporters this, but you never listen." He started to walk away but turned one more time and wagged his finger at each one us as if we were children. "Pay attention to what these guards tell you, and do not put yourself in the middle of conflict."

Nobody ever won a Pulitzer by standing at arm's length.

"Thank you for welcoming us, sir, and for your words," I said. "We will keep them in mind." The guards nodded for us to follow, and we made a solemn line into the Land Cruiser.

It was the rainy season, and on cue an afternoon storm whipped and lashed across the landscape like an angry mob. As we drove in silence, the hair on the back of my neck stood straight up. We arrived at the village that would serve as our headquarters. Amid the familiar routines of a small community that seemed oblivious to the dangers surrounding them, people who were displaced by violence congregated in huddles hoping for safety.

I snapped off pictures of the scene. Once the children noticed my camera, school was over. They surrounded me like ants on a Popsicle. I had come prepared. I handed out candy as fast as I could, then got back to the business of capturing images of this unsettling normalcy.

The sun hid behind the trees, and darkness enveloped the thatched huts and makeshift refugee camp, swallowing them whole. Our armed guards escorted us into a separate compound meant to keep us safe from any danger lurking in the nearby jungles.

We took a seat on concrete blocks to enjoy a traditional African meal of corn and beans, and we laughed about the monkeys we had seen on the road hurling bananas at our Land Cruiser. It was funnier than it ought to have been.

And then it happened.

The crisp pop of bullets battered our eardrums. The sounds ripped through the jungle night and into the village. Then the screams began. Screams that boiled the blood inside my ears.

I dropped, crawled on my belly to the window, and slid up along the front wall, craning my neck so I could see outside. A guard across the room mirrored my actions at another window. Everyone else was flat against the ground. As I peered through the rusty barred window, flashes of light pounded bright fists against the sky, the road, and the trees.

Buildings exploded with fire, and a woman cried out in terror. Shadows flickered, black phantoms haunting the night. I made out five or six soldiers beating a woman with their boots and the butts of their guns.

She quit screaming, quit moving, and then they ripped the clothes from her broken body. They began raping her. She came to and started to scream again, pleading for help, and they hit her until her screams choked on her blood.

She couldn't have been more than sixteen.

I turned my head.

The horror of this night was no act of God. No earthquake or tsunami. This was the act of men. Evil men. Demons in the guise of men.

The uncertainty of what might happen next hovered at the edge of an inhaled breath.

The armed guards screamed for us to lay prostrate on the dirt floor as bullets flew through the walls and widows, scattering plaster and glass. I wiped away salty sweat burning my eyes. But the sweat was thicker than it should have been. I tasted it.

Blood.

Fear strangled the air. Shallow breaths and rapid heartbeats echoed throughout the tiny room. I thought about my last conversation with Whitney.

My last conversation.

Was it my last?

Mike's hand slid up next to me. His whisper turned my head. "Ask not for whom the bell tolls, man."

Mike shoved his glasses back onto his oversized, pockmarked nose. "This happened to one of my closest friends in northern Uganda. The rebel militia mutilated everyone and everything in sight. No one made it out alive. No one. These monsters believe in a kind of Old Testament extermination of anything that moves."

"Thanks for the encouraging words."

"I always knew I'd die young."

He reached in his pocket and pulled out a string of wooden rosary beads.

"These were my mother's."

"I'm not Catholic."

"Neither was I. Until now ..."

"Shut up!" one of the guards hissed.

Rivers of sweat baptized our faces, our necks, our chests.

Death, real and suffocating, pressed in, driven by the wailing of dying babies, the yelps of slaughtered animals, the screams of women being beaten and raped.

My heart raced in rapid-fire panic.

I peered through a hole between a cinder block and a broken windowsill. Rebel troops swarmed like locusts, devouring every living thing in their path.

Mike elbowed me in the thigh. "Remember that story about an African militia group that raped a bunch of Americans? Men, women, children—they weren't choosy."

"You have to be quiet," whispered a guard. He got to one knee, steadying his gun. "Now shut up, or I'll kill you myself."

A rebel commander yelled something just outside the door. Another shot, and the guard who had just spoken fell dead right on top of me. His blood flowed over my neck and right arm, staining my Band of Brothers ring crimson. The screaming intensified; people ran, yelled, and died.

I scooted against the wall, huddled next to Mike as shots continued to shriek overhead. Plaster exploded and covered us. We tried to make ourselves invisible, curling into the fetal position, wrapping our arms over our heads.

A bullet whined by my ear, missing by centimeters. I crawled facedown to the other side of the room, trying to get out of the line of fire.

Then a sudden, deafening silence.

Nobody moved for what seemed like hours. Fear paralyzed me, and the silence thickened, punctuated by an occasional moan or a sob. We waited and waited, wondering when it would be safe to stand, wondering if it would ever be safe.

Finally, I gazed out the window, my eyes searching for rebel soldiers in the yellow-orange gloom of smoke. No figures or movement.

"I'm going out," I whispered to Mike.

He didn't respond.

"Hey, listen. Let's go, man."

I elbowed him in the ribs.

"Mike!" I grabbed his jacket to turn him toward me. There was a pinpoint crimson stain on the front of his light blue shirt. His eyes stared through me.

I was frozen for a moment, not knowing what to do. Then I pulled my camera out of my bag. I picked up Mike's gear and slung it around my neck.

Outside, the air burned of flesh. Some shadows moved in the distance, but the streets were barren. A few jerking and twitching heaps lined the road and quivered beside the buildings.

Oh, God. Oh, God.

I walked toward the flames. Everything was silent except for a sour ringing in my ears. Something compelled me to enter the destruction, to get closer.

Severed body parts lay before me in a display of such horror I began to heave. A young pregnant mother crumpled over, lying dead next to a burning haystack. She barely looked human. One leg lay at a right angle, an arm hung loosely from her shoulder, held there by a single, stringy tendon. Her stomach had been sliced wide open, the wormlike contents spilled in front of her, still moving.

There was nothing I could do to help her. Nothing.

I lifted the camera to my left eye. Snap. Snap. Snap. The lens clicked open and closed.

I stepped closer to capture the look on her face. Steam rose from her insides. More pictures. Through the blood and mucus by her midsection, I made out a face, a tiny face with eyes closed.

Voices rose over the roofs. Something was happening at the end of the village. Without thought, I raced through the corpses and debris toward the commotion.

The rebel troops had gathered the bodies of all the men they had slain. They were stacking them together in the shape of a pyramid.

As each body was thrown on top of the others, the rebels jeered, spit on the dead, and drank from a whiskey bottle, reveling in their triumph. They shot their guns into the air. Fire flashed around the perimeter. It was a scene from hell.

A man climbed on the roof above the bodies, unzipped his pants, and urinated all over the dead. The men slapped each other on the back and laughed.

Another rebel poured some liquid over the bodies.

I adjusted the camera settings and snapped a series of shots as fast as my fingers could click. The fire ignited, a pyramid pyre, and I continued to shoot. I snapped pictures of the dead—men I had seen earlier that day caring for their families—as their faces melted like candle wax. I snapped pictures of the rebels' ugly glee. And I felt like retching again.

I turned and walked, faster and faster, until I was running.

Each step I took pounded the question: Why? Why? Why?

I raced to the edge of the compound and saw Tommy hanging out the window of our car, frantically motioning me to come. We sped off, the remaining guard driving like a bat out of hell, for it was indeed hell we were escaping. As I turned to look out the back window, I saw Mike's body crumpled in the seat behind me. Like a rotted rubber band, something inside me snapped. My whole body shook. Sobs came without tears. I could muster only one coherent thought: If we get out of here alive, at least we can send Mike back to his family.

Back to his cheating wife.

CHAPTER 2

New York, 2007


As the cab rolls up to Madison Square Garden, my eyes immediately catch the large flashing electronic sign that says "Welcome, Guests of the International Press Association." I take a deep breath, step out of the cab, and force myself to walk in.

The doors slide open as smooth as silk, revealing three cloth-draped tables for guests to sign in and pick up their badges. Silver and black balloons decorate the expansive foyer. Waiters and waitresses swirl around the guests serving hors d'oeuvres and champagne. This is New York. Everyone's a professional.

A huge circle of flags on high golden posts lines the ceiling. I scan for the countries I've visited: China, Russia, Turkey, Jordan.... Then my eyes rest on the flag with the red strip down the middle with blue on each side and a yellow star in the top left. The Congo. My forehead breaks out in a cold sweat.

"Hello. You're Stuart Daniels, right?" I turn and see a tall blonde with short, smooth hair. She is wearing a tight black dress with a low-scooping neckline. It's hard to look at her face.

"It's so great to meet you. I'm Kristin. I'm a massive fan of your work. It's really powerful. Like, so moving."

"Thanks. I'm grateful."

Out of the corner of my eye I spot my friend Garrett heading toward me. He's a waddling, sweating orb. Not much to look at, but he's a great conversationalist—scary smart and a fantastic writer. He stays local, likes the political scene. I always wondered if he wasn't so big, maybe he could fit in an airplane seat and work internationally.

"Congratulations on your award," Kristen says. She moves in closer. "And if there's anything I can do for you tonight, here's my card." I notice the Times logo as I glance at the card.

Kristen takes my hand and bends a little lower, providing a clear view of a glimmering silver cross and a tattoo in the shape of a heart competing for my attention. Then I wonder if she really did pause on the word anything.

"Hey, Stuart." Garrett checks out Kristin as she walks away. "She's hot. Did I interrupt something?"

"Not at all. How are you?"

"How am I? How are you? Ready for the big speech?"

He's wearing a rented tuxedo with a black jacket and blue pants. I start to say something about his fashion sense, but common sense gets the better of me.

"As ready as I'll ever be." I pick up the seating card with my table number, and Whitney's.

"Where is the lovely Whitney tonight?"

"She's doing production for CBS Live at Five news. She should be here any minute."

"That's a great promotion for her. Man, she's the real thing. You need to hang on to her, dude. She's your salvation." His eyes shift to look beyond me. "And speak of the angel in blue ..."

I turn and see Whitney gliding toward us in a light blue strapless dress. She is wearing the necklace and earrings I picked up for her in Egypt last month. Whitney isn't flashy with clothes or makeup, but she does love exotic jewelry.

"And hello, Ms. Whitney. You're looking gorgeous tonight," Garrett says.

"Her face isn't down there, man."

"Listen, Stuart, I know a good thing when I see it."

Whitney can take it. She grew up with three brothers—and she's known Garrett as long as she's known me.

"Hello, Garrett, good to see you." She puts her arm around me and leans in to kiss me. She smells like orange and vanilla. The scent reminds me of better times. I inhale slowly, willing myself to relax.

"You look incredible." I mean it. The dress matches her eyes. The color of a winter sky.

"Whitney, I know this guy's won some kind of prestigious award, but if you want a real man to take you out after this, let me know, would ya?" Garrett's eyebrows jump up and down like two caterpillars in heat.

The thought of it makes us laugh. Garrett has always had a crush on her.

"I'm heading to the lav." Garrett points to the opposite side of the room. "See you at the table."

A voice to my right yells, "Congratulations, Stuart! The Horace Greeley Award for public-service journalism, what an honor!"

I recognize the face. Couldn't pull the name if my life depended on it though.

"Thanks." I hate these cocktail preludes. I turn to Whitney. "I need a drink."

"All this attention a bit much for you?"

"Thus, the drink. And you need one too." I put my arm around her narrow shoulders and we walk, trying to stay under the radar.

I get her a white wine, dry, and a Stoli and lime for myself. It doesn't even begin to touch my nerves.

"I'm proud of you, Stuart. This is a big night for you," Whitney says.

Now that we're out of the main foyer, I feel like I can let my guard down.

"You know, Whit, this all seems incredibly strange."

"What do you mean?"

"It just doesn't seem right that I should get an award for this. That day in the Congo wasn't an act of courage, more like desperation."

"Look, that picture did something. It changed people's lives. And it did something to change the world. Stuart, just try to enjoy this, okay?"

We've had this conversation before, and I can tell she is getting exasperated.

"Okay." She squeezes my hand and turns to talk to the woman sitting next to her. Whitney is patient with me, but only to a point. She's the kind of girl who cried over an A- in school, and she's climbed the broadcast-journalism ladder faster than most people her age. She's a Georgia country girl with little tolerance for weakness.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Scared by TOM DAVIS. Copyright © 2009 Tom Davis. Excerpted by permission of David C. Cook.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents

A Note from the Publisher,
Prologue,
Chapter One,
Chapter Two,
Chapter Three,
Chapter Four,
Chapter Five,
Chapter Six,
Chapter Seven,
Chapter Eight,
Chapter Nine,
Chapter Ten,
Chapter Eleven,
Chapter Twelve,
Chapter Thirteen,
Chapter Fourteen,
Chapter Fifteen,
Chapter Sixteen,
Chapter Seventeen,
Chapter Eighteen,
Chapter Nineteen,
Chapter Twenty,
Chapter Twenty-one,
Chapter Twenty-two,
Chapter Twenty-three,
Chapter Twenty-four,
Chapter Twenty-five,
Chapter Twenty-six,
Chapter Twenty-seven,
Chapter Twenty-eight,
Chapter Twenty-nine,
Chapter Thirty,
Chapter Thirty-one,
Chapter Thirty-two,
AfterWords,
Discussion Questions,
Author Interview,

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 24 )
Rating Distribution

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(20)

4 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 24 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 15, 2009

    Haunting story of finding faith even in tragedy

    Scared by Tom Davis is a heartbreaking look at a world we spend much of our lives trying to ignore. Adanna is a 12 year old girl in Swaziland trying to make the best of the life God has given her. She cares for her two younger siblings when her mother is ill and tries to ignore the pains of hunger that color every aspect of her life. Stuart Daniels is a award-winning photographer best known for a photo of horrific violence that indicts him as an witness to horror. His inaction has haunted him in the years since, creating cracks in his marriage and nearly ending his career. He's given a last chance to redeem himself by returning to Africa and trying to capture the face of AIDS. In Adanna he may find the hope he needs to recover his faith in God and his life as well. Davis has taken his personal experiences in Africa and turned them into a powerful book that will capture readers' hearts. Adanna's story brings a real face to the tragic story of AIDS in a country that is devastated by deaths from the disease that in the US has become far more treatable. This is a novel that will not let go of readers' hearts.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Hauntingly beautiful

    Last night I dreamed of a far away land. A land with a sun like a "giant ball of orange fire" and a sky like a "deep blue bowl filled with magical, milky fairy dust". So enthralled was I with Davis' novel that I dreamt that night of the beautiful but desperate land of orphan Adanna. It continues to follow me a week later. Davis weaves a fascinating, yet hauntingly real, story of Adanna and Stuart, giving us a unique perspective into the life of the people of Swaziland.

    As Stuart is challenged to examine his view of the world, so is the reader as they dive deep into Adanna's story.

    Davis' personal passion for orphans and Africa is evident. As a fan of his non-fiction books ("Fields of the Fatherless" and "Red Letters") I eagerly anticipated his first fiction work. "Scared" did NOT disappoint and will be a book I read again and again.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Scared/Sacred

    I mentioned to a friend that I was reading the latest book by Tom Davis. "Oh, you mean 'Sacred'?" I replied, "No, it's called 'Scared.'" In retrospect, the book could easily be called either.

    As the protagonist, a photojournalist, heads into the midst of disease and starvation in Africa, he finds redemption and something sacred: a beautiful orphan. In his struggle to save her, he is himself saved. But it is certainly not in the way of his own choosing.

    Told very effectively through chapters of shifting first person perspective, Tom Davis takes us into a frightening world we don't want to know or see. But much like the protagonist, once we are there, we find for ourselves something Sacred...and we are no longer Scared.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 28, 2009

    A powerful, extraordinary novel - the best I've read in years.

    Tom Davis' first novel grabbed me by the throat and refused to let go. I no longer sat in a comfortable chair in my bedroom merely reading a book; I bumped along in a jeep on dusty clay roads, inhaled sweaty fear, witnessed atrocities that provoked gut-wrenching despair and anger, and grieved over inhumane conditions that pound innocent families on a continent plagued with disease and corruption.

    Sweet little Adanna, already fatherless and literally starving, faces the unthinkable when her mother becomes gravely ill. Frightened yet determined to provide a meal for her two younger siblings, Precious and Abu, Adanna innocently brings horrendous calamity upon herself in her desperate search food.

    Into this hostile environment Stuart Daniels, a world renown, award-winning photographer arrives. A decade earlier Stuart nearly lost his life photographing the violence that, unthinkably, continues to worsen in the heart of Africa. That trip was the beginning of the end for him. He's all but dead on the inside, his marriage is slowly dying and he is on the brink of losing his job. Drawn back to the very place that stole his soul, Stuart can't help but wonder what on earth he's doing in this god-forsaken corner of the world.

    SCARED is authentic, intense, and in-your-face. It stops short of demanding action on the part of its reader, but you won't be able to help yourself. Warning: Tom Davis' powerful novel will make you rethink your life. And it just might save some.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 9, 2009

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    I Also Recommend:

    One of those books that you can't put down and will never forget!

    A must read for everyone! The story captured my heart and engaged my mind from the very first chapter. I couldn't put it down until I was finished. It has been along time since a book grabbed me like this. Tom Davis brings the characters alive and makes them real. This leaving you with the great sense that you actually know them. This book brings the crisis of all these beautiful children in the country of Swaziland orphaned by AIDs but it also reveals the real crisis going on in the homes and hearts of many of us here at home. Many will identify with his American character. This will be a best seller. A real life changer! I've already ordered copies for my friends and familes.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 21, 2009

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    Truly an inspirational and life-changing novel!

    Tears were flowing down my cheeks through a good portion of the book. I don't recommend reading this in public because you'd have a hard time getting past the lump in your throat to explain just what it was that evoked that level of emotion in you. I'm not exaggerating. You'd have to have a heart of stone not to be emotionally moved when you read Scared. The entire time I read this book I was in Africa right along with the characters. That's great writing.

    While the abuse and poverty were disheartening to experience through the story, the way people who loved God reached out with the little they had was truly uplifting. Evocative and intense, Scared cuts deep into your heart as you read along. Healing fills the pages, yet there are no easy answers given, and it shows how each day is a struggle for the people of Swaziland to even survive. That's why the orphans and the widows need people who care. I loved how Scared showed that many of the sick and dying were truly victims of AIDS through no wrongdoing of their own. This book should be an award winner for the message alone. Seriously.

    I've rarely experienced this level of realism in a novel, especially in the CBA. It's so realistic, it's downright edgy - but to the extreme. Like the Holocaust, there are some awful things that happen in this book. Unspeakable things. But it also shows how God holds those who suffer close to His heart. You see that in this book in a way that is rarely portrayed in Christian fiction. All of the ugly stuff is not smoothed over, nor is the God-given compassion.

    When the people who were starving literally danced with joy when offered a meager ration of food, it really touched me. We have so much in this country, yet we are so ungrateful. Gratitude is definitely a missing element in most people's lives in the United States. We'd be so much kinder to each other if we were truly grateful for the gift of salvation we've been given, and for the many undeserved blessings that God has granted us. One way to thank Him is by showing love in action and not just in our words.

    Truly beautiful themes permeate this story and will stay with you long after you finish. Here's the bottome line... Scared portrays how the love and integrity of one pre-adolescent girl changed an entire nation. That left me breathless. Oh, and I'll never say I'm starving again. One caution, though. I'd be careful about reading this novel if you have a weak stomach or if atrocities like rape will give you flashbacks. It's graphic and harsh in some places but sooo worth reading!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 11, 2009

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    Scared book review

    This book is very well written. Tom Davis really makes you feel like you are right with the characters as the story unfolds. Once you start you won't want to put it down, so give yourself some time to finish it. All the surprises in the story will keep you on the edge of your seat. Just when you think the situations can't get any worse, they do. But the ending brings wonderful and life changing news for the characters. This also isn't a book you just read and forget. It is one that will challenge you to act after hearing the heartbreaking realities of what these people have to go through on a daily basis. They don't have food, they don't have clean water, and they don't have a safe place to stay. Most children living in Africa don't even have parents, or any other family members to love them, because most have died from HIV/AIDS. They are all alone, they are scared. The characters in this story are able to bring hope to a community in Swaziland by providing the food they needed to survive. This book will open your heart to the needs of these people, and leave you with a strong desire to also bring hope to the hopeless. And you can! So, if you are up to the challenge go read this book, and after you read it share it with everyone you know. This message needs to get out there.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2013

    Oh my

    Had me on the edge of my seat the whole time! Though sometimes the never ending details left me confused.

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  • Posted June 3, 2013

    This book is a real eye opener. Most people have no idea how luc

    This book is a real eye opener. Most people have no idea how lucky and blessed they are. It's so hard to fathom how people in other countries live. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2013

    Ninja rp os jere?

    Is it gonna be active

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2013

    Phantom Cyre

    I lean against a tree, one hand in my pocket and the other holding my scythe.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2013

    Dove that rides on wind (Dove)

    "W-" Dove was interrupted by a voice."take her to wildpaw first result, Rainfang. You have done a excellent job."

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2012

    Highly recommended - a real look at life for many in Africa

    This book opened my eyes and heart to the children as well as adults in Africa. It brought the reality of the desperate needs of a people who while they need our help, still need to be respected as another human being and allowed to learn wise responsibility. It's a worthwhile read.

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  • Posted February 28, 2010

    Grab some tissues!

    Looking for a book that will challenge you and make you feel uncomfortable? I wasn't but it turned out to be exactly what I needed. A few months ago, I won a contest on Anne Jackson's blog to be one of several people to receive a copy of "Scared: A Novel on the Edge of the World" by Tom Davis. I hadn't heard of Mr. Davis but I thought I'd give his novel a chance.

    Scared is a story about a photojournalist named Stuart Daniels. His life has hit rock bottom after witnessing and photographing the brutality in the African Congo. Stuart is sent on one last mission to redeem his career to a small African country that is in the middle of the AIDS crisis.

    He visits a village of young orphans and widows. In particular, he meets a little girl named Adanna. She has been forced to grow up quickly after her father left and her mother died. She is the sole caregiver for her younger siblings, Precious and Abu. Stuart is challenged to bring real hope and restoration to Africa through Adanna's story.

    "Now, in a dark place that's a world away from home, Stuart will once again confront the harsh reality of a suffering people in a forgotten land. And as a chance encounter becomes divine providence, two very different people will find their lives forever changed."

    I was in tears over this book. It is such an emotional read as the author describes the harsh reality of a community that is "ravaged by tragedy and disease". My eyes were opened to a part of our world I'd never even considered. Because of it being such a tragic yet redemptive story, I'd recommend not reading this book in public unless you have tissues near by! I cannot wait until Mr. Davis releases his next book in this series: "Priceless: A Novel On The Edge Of The World" in June of 2010.

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  • Posted November 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Extremely Powerful

    With the Thanksgiving holiday right around the corner, one does a lot of thinking about what they are thankful for in their life. For many, it's family or having a job or the material things they own. But have you ever been thankful for being alive and well? We as Americans take our way of life for granted. We have so many freedoms that we just immediately dismiss yet there are millions of people all over the world who are suffering and would give anything to have just one thing of ours that we so casually discard. This book really makes you think about what you have and what thankfulness really mean.

    Stuart is a photographer who is searching for that perfect shot. He's having some marital problems and leaves for Africa with things unresolved between him and his wife. He had previously won a prestigious journalism award for a photo he had taken several years ago that depicted the tragedy of death and it's affected him ever since. Now in Africa he sees how the people are ravaged by AIDS, starvation and the children who have to suffer for it. Mixed in with Stuart's story is the story of a 12 year old Swazi girl named Adanna. Her story is absolutely heartbreaking. I can't describe it, you have to read it to know the full impact.

    The contrast between the rich and the poor were incredible. Stuart sees both worlds. He ate the best food at the hotel, better than almost any restaurant in the US with steak and dessert. Then the next day he sees women weeping because their child has died from starvation. When Stuart realizes how much just a little bit of food from the local store helps out, he and his friend buy what they can to help out the village. One scene in the book that really interested me was when a so called charity comes the village and pretty much does a photo shot. They act like they're about to pass out tons of food but in reality they are just getting publicity to send back home to get more funds. The funds are clearly going into the pockets of the charity and NOT to help out the people. This is something one should always look into before donating, make sure you know exactly where the money is going.

    This is a book that everyone should read. It's totally eye opening and really makes you think about what you have vs what others don't have. It's an intense book. I felt really guilty for being able to eat a PBJ sandwich while reading and thinking about how there are so many people who would literally die for a piece of that sandwich.

    This book is not preachy at all. It's classified as Christian fiction and faith is obvious throughout the book. However the message about Africa, AIDS and the orphans take a much bigger precedence. This book really opened up my eyes to the plight of other countries and does make me want to go do something about it one day. I'm not sure right now exactly what that is, but I do know that I want to make a difference. While reading this book, I was reminded of a video I watched at church that stated that even though we don't realize it, if we live in the US or any western country, we are rich. Rich means being able to have a clean drink of water or have a roof over our heads. This book clearly makes you realize how much we have to be thankful for in our lives. Like one of my friends on Twitter said, I wish this was a book that Oprah would include in her book club as it's a book that everyone should read because of the powerful message it carries. I challenge you to read it and see if yo

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  • Posted July 7, 2009

    Reality Brought Home

    When readers open a book they hope to be at least distracted. The worst books annoy but the best send readers into new realms. They laugh, weep, cry, and hate along with the characters and happily spend a sleepless night to live in this other life. Scared is one of those books; but this new life isn't pretty. Tom Davis has created a gut-wrenching book that is both simply told but chocked full of the dark and light realities of life itself.
    This is the story of Stuart Daniels, haunted by everything he has seen in Africa as he goes about photographing for newspapers. As scarred as a post traumatic stress disorder victim, his life is skidding out of control. He's last chance assignment is to go and take pictures for a series of stories about how AIDS has crushed the people of a small African nation. Once there, he is exposed to the naked, horrible truth. Yet, it takes a young girl and a national disaster to begin to change our hero.
    This book is amazing. The story itself is well-told and would make the book good in itself, but the storytelling is just the beginning. It is the reality and believability of the story; the knowing that this could be true, that makes the book so fantastic. From an armchair in Kentucky, the reader is transported to Africa with vivid details and forced to remember 'there but for the grace of God go I'.
    Our writer, Tom Cook has lived that life. He is a college-educated preacher who has seen first hand the horrors of the world for orphans in Africa. Scared is a story based on the experiences he saw and still continues to see in the Africa crippled by AIDS. He knows children, quite like our main African character, staving to death as they try to care for other siblings. To try to stem the outpouring of suffering, Cook has created Children's Hopechest, a charity organization to aid orphans in Eastern Europe and Africa. To find out more, go to www.HopeChest.com or www.ScaredtheBook.com.
    Read this book and sob, first for the tale and then for the reality. After you're done, think what you can do to help the suffering. All it takes is one.

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  • Posted July 3, 2009

    Fantastic Read

    I finished reading Scared by Tom Davis three days ago. I am just now sitting down to write my review because the book left me speechless.
    Scared, Davis' first novel, is the story of two people from completely different worlds who meet under the most difficult of circumstances. Stuart Daniels is an American photojournalist traveling the Swazi countryside in search of the shot that could redefine his failing career. Adanna is a 12 year old Swazi orphan who is in search of hope after being left to parent her younger siblings. Their unlikely meeting may not be exactly what they were looking for, but it is just the thing that they both needed to find.
    Through Stuart and Adanna's journey, Davis delivers a very graphic account of the effects that poverty, violence, and HIV/AIDS have had on the African people. But this is more than a shocking story of brutality. Through richly developed characters and expertly crafted narrative Davis turns a story of despair in to a heartwarming, sometimes painful message about the undeniable power of grace and hope.
    Tom Davis' personal experience as pastor, orphan advocate, and father is written on every page as he challenges readers with the James 1:27 call. As an orphan, I share Davis' heart and am grateful that he has brought his work in the field to millions of homes and book clubs through the telling of this important, moving story. His unique perspective brings this novel to life and leaves the reader wondering what he or she can do to reach the edge of the world.

    To learn more about this book read my interview with Tom Davis at http://www.nicolewick.com/2009/06/featured-author-tom-davis/

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    Posted July 22, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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