Monday, June 3, 2013
The Girl Who Married An Eagle by Tamar Myers
But Africa isn't anything like what Julia expected. The natives don't seem particularly grateful; instead they are quick to let her know that the white man is ugly and has stupid customs. The mission nurse who should have been her friend seems to hate her. The other missionary is much too good looking for a man she'll be seeing every day; a recent widower that she can't help thinking about. He has a precocious daughter who looks at the world with a mixture of intelligence bordering on genius and the naivete of a child.
Buakane is one of the girls the mission is set up to help. Her name meant perfect and her beauty from birth was just that, perfect in every way. Buakane captures the attention of the biggest chief of her people, Chief Eagle. Eagle decides that he must have the beauty of Buakane and that she will become one of his many wives. Buakane is scared, as she regards Eagle as an old man and even worse, when he dies all his wives will be buried alive to accompany him to the afterlife. She runs away during the wedding ceremony and ends up at the mission.
Soon there is strife between the missionaries and the natives. Can the missionaries protect Buakane, or will the tug of war between the two groups set the region ablaze?
Tamar Myers, who grew up in the Congo, has written an engaging mystery that will please mystery readers. The characters are believable yet humorous, and the conflict is set up realistically. The denouement is satisfying and rings true. This book is recommended for mystery readers who like their mysteries light and satisfying in their depiction of other cultures.