Friday, August 19, 2022

Dangerous Pilgrims by Lawrence Swaim


Two people meet and fall in love in Guatemala.  Sofia Mendez is a native, a nun who is taking time away from her vocation.  Maitland Sutterfield is an American journalist who, embittered by a divorce, has come to Guatemala to report on the dictatorship in power there and the disappearance, torture and murder of the natives to keep them enslaved to the wealthy landowners.

Both end up deep in the jungle at a Catholic mission.  Padre Julio is educated and is trying to help the natives by educating them on better farming methods and creating a cooperative.  All of this is seen by the administration as being one of the revolutionaries and his mission is targeted.  A cruel colonel takes aim at the village and all those who live there.  He and Maitland clash several times but Maitland has contacts at the American Embassy and with the men who secretly support the administration from abroad so he is protected to a degree.  What will occur in this clash of cultures?

Lawrence Swaim has devoted his life to obtaining civil rights for all religious minorities.  He is the Executive Director of the Interfaith Freedom Foundation and this novel reflects his life mission.  The characters fight for a better life and love against an overpowering enemy and lose more often than they win.  This book is recommended for readers of books about other cultures.

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