Book Recommendation ~ Scared by Tom Davis

Book Description:

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.

Narelle’s Thoughts:

Scared is Tom Davis’ debut novel and the first book in his A Novel on the Edge of the World series. A powerful and intense story that will stay in your mind long after you read the last page.

Stuart Daniels is a washed up photojournalist who receives a prestigious award for a photograph he took on assignment in the Democratic Republic of the Congo nine years earlier. His experiences in the Congo still haunt him, he’s dissatisfied with his life in New York, and his marriage is in trouble. To save his career, he returns to Africa to cover the Aids epidemic in Swaziland.

Adanna is a twelve year old girl living in extreme poverty in Swaziland. She has a dream where she is visited by an illuminated man and given a special gift. She lives in a small tribal community who are scared by the disease ravaging their people, and her family is suffering from malnutrition and often have no food to eat.

The story follows the faith journeys of Stuart and Adanna, and the supernatural element is an organic part of the story. Stuart questions his beliefs and values as he is challenged by the harsh reality of life for the villagers. Adanna’s faith is tested as she endures unspeakable horrors, and life becomes more difficult for her as the story progresses.

If you’re looking for a nice story with a happy ending, then Scared is not the book for you. The story is based on real life experiences, and the desperation and heartache of the local people is not watered down. The ending is both satisfying and tragic. After reading Scared, you can’t help but feel emotional and wonder what you can do to help other children in the world like Adanna. I recommend Scared to those looking for a gritty and compelling story with a strong take away value.

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