Review

Acts Of Faith

by Philip Caputo



Cast against the civil war and genocide in the Sudan, ACTS OF FAITH
is an epic novel of faith, heroism, greed, betrayal, zealotry,
love, obsession, and ultimately murder. The rich cast of characters
is made up of aid workers and bush pilots, driven by a sincere
desire to help the starving multi-ethnic tribes of the Sudan. Some
are motivated by a missionary zeal to convert savages to
Christianity, some by less religious but a still deeply rooted
concern for humanity. Still others are adventurers and opportunists
who see a means to an end by providing services in the aid
program.


Douglas Braithwaite is a Texas aviator and former UN pilot, now
managing Knight Air Services. His ceaseless energy helps him
deliver countless planeloads of medical aid and food into the
rebel-controlled Nuba mountains, the no-go zones into which the
United Nations will not venture. His two partners are a multiracial
Kenyan, Fitzhugh Martin, who is seeking to put his life together
after failed marriages and business reversals, and the brash,
daredevil pilot, Wesley Dare. The entrepreneurial Dare's cynicism
and pragmatic vision of his aid work hides the heart of a man who
will give his all for the woman he loves. The three pilots build a
lucrative private flying service and discover that they are
motivated by different angels, or perhaps demons, as their business
enterprise flourishes. Together, they encounter an opportunity to
do more than merely deliver aid to the dangerous bush country
airfields when they meet Sudanese People's Liberation Army Colonel
Michael Goraende.


Quinette Hardin is a young, born-again Christian from Waterloo,
Iowa, whose efforts to raise money to free Dinka slaves by buying
them back from their Muslim captors leads her to a mission to
Sudan. She proves to be a natural at dealing with the press and
charming the natives. She is hired by the Worldwide Christian Union
and often flies with Knight Air into Colonel Goraende's desert
stronghold, where she meets Colonel Goraende, changing her life
forever.


Ibraham Idris is Chief of a semi-nomadic Arab tribe and the warlord
commanding a detachment of murahaleen --- renegades hired by
the Khartoum government --- bent on annihilating the black infidels
in the South, setting him up for conflict with the Christian
mission workers.


ACTS OF FAITH is a sweeping saga of the politics, religion and
economics of poverty in the third world, and of the successes and
failures of relief workers drawn to the world's poorest and most
enigmatic continent.


Philip Caputo first explored Africa three decades ago by foot and
camelback, and has been drawn back many times to the dark continent
by its ferocious beauty, history and people. In the vein of James
Clavell's SHOGUN and Graham Greene's THE QUIET AMERICAN, ACTS OF
FAITH sweeps us to high adventure in far away places, thrusting the
reader into today's headlines.


   












Reviewed by Roz Shea on December 22, 2010

Acts Of Faith
by Philip Caputo

  • Publication Date: May 3, 2005
  • Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction
  • Hardcover: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf
  • ISBN-10: 0375411666
  • ISBN-13: 9780375411663