Sunday, May 15, 2011

Book Review: The DMZ by Jeanette Windle

I've always wondered what it would be like to be a missionary or the child of missionary parents. I would probably find it hard to adjust to a new culture, but it sounds like an experience I would enjoy, at least for a season. That's why I think I want to go on more mission trips as the kids get older. There's nothing more gratifying than going to a place where the gospel is eagerly received and the people grateful for the help you bring.

DMZ, The: A NovelThe DMZ is a book written by a  "missionary kid". Jeanette Windle grew up in the country of Colombia, where the story of the book occurs. I was intrigued when I read in her bio that "Jeanette's detailed writing is so realistic and carefully researched that government agencies have questioned her to determine if she has received classified information."

I learned a lot while reading this book. I had scant knowledge of the demilitarization zone in Colombia and FARC before reading this book. I had heard the names of some of the real-life characters, but reading The DMZ helped me in knowing more. And I was able to learn these things while still enjoying a good story. There were a few times I got bogged down in the "history lessons", but it did not keep me from wanting to finish. There was enough interesting plot to make me want to continue to the end.     

Julie, the main character of the book, is also a missionary kid. She leaves Colombia when she is just a teenager to live in a boarding school. Her parents are killed by guerillas and she is forced to move to America to complete her education. She spends the next seven years building up a bitterness toward the men who murdered her mother and father. When given a chance to return to Colombia as a reporter on a fact-finding peace mission, Julie decides to face her past and she returns to the village where she was raised. 

I won't give away any spoilers, but I will just tell you that the book gets more frightening as it progresses. However, there is a happy ending (at least for some) and a little romance thrown in as well. All in all, a great book.

I give The DMZ 4 out of 5 stars. (Probably the only reason I could not give it 5 stars is because of the length of the book, which is a whopping 512 pages. Took me a while to get through it!)

(I received this book from LitFuse for review purposes. I received no monetary compensation for this review. All opinions expressed are completely my own.)   

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