Thursday, September 21, 2017

Quit Listening: "Congo Dawn" by Jeanette Windle

Quit Listening: Congo Dawn by Jeanette Windle, 2013 (Overdrive copy).

I selected this novel because I liked the title and cover image. The narration was awful with terrible accents and poor acting. I did not realize this is an inspirational thriller when I checked it out. That's fine I suppose, and I did stick with the story until about half way through the novel.  One character's Bible lesson to the main character had me throw in the towel.

I could have glossed over the Bible lesson - not my bag, man, it absolutely bore me - and the main character's religious crisis if the narration were not so bad. The story was interesting: Former Marine officer takes on military contracting jobs as a translator. She speaks French and Swahili and takes a contract that sends her to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A mining corporation is trying to keep open a molybdenum mine against the attacks of a local guy whose family were killed when the mining corp. arrived. While in Africa the Translator meets the Navy Corpsman she both loves and blames for her Marine brother's death in Afghanistan.

Windle writes well and does a very good job of mixing together: international politics, local thugs, Congo strongmen, faithful missionaries, compassionate doctors, a main character conflicted about her employer and her love for the Corpsman, mining execs who want more money, and mercenaries who are there for the mission and have seen enough death and misery that they do not get involved with local troubles.

Amid all that story Windle lays the schmaltz on thick. Real thick. Vegemite thick. Translator's family troubles with dead parents, a dead brother, a divorced sister, a dangerously ill niece, and holding lots of anger.

1. I'm sure someone somewhere liked the narration. I did not like the voices, the accents, the emphasis, most everything. BOOKLIST gave this a starred review.
2. Terrible narration.
3. Rotten narration.
4. According to the online author photo Windle has curly hair. According to my mirror I have thick hair that needs a brush.

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