This book was a very fast read. I got snared within the first few pages and although I took short breaks from the story it was still there in my head demanding me to come back to it – to continue the journey.
The adventure of a single white woman traveling alone through such unforgiving lands awed me. I had no trouble understanding and believing Marika’s actions. The motivations for those actions resonated truthfully with me – occasionally with glaring ugliness. She was different – most definitely – did not fit the comfortable role most of us would think of as being “normal”. In that way, she rather reminded me of the Dr. Temperance Brennan character on the TV show, Bones. Her personal demons stalked her and gave her no peace but still she persevered – she had amazing resolve.
This novel was also a tool – a pick – that chipped away incessantly at my conscience. It questioned God’s existence in a world where such horrific things happen. I was swept along as a hapless passenger on the run-a-way train of poverty, war, disease, and misery; where happiness, love and contentment were feared and rejected because they had proved to be so fickle and fleeting. However, ultimately redemption and love does prevail and Marika was graced – as was I – with the understanding that life truly is a wondrous gift that should be cherished, shared and lived to the fullest.
I thought the writing was brilliant. It conjured the scenes of the story in my mind with ease. I was transported along not merely reading the words but also experiencing the fear, the heartbreaks, the relief, and the joys as Marika, The White Mary, journeyed. The history of the story was told through a series of flashbacks as she made her long trek down streams and through the swampy jungles of Papua New Guinea. I found these chapters to be just as interesting as the actual trek through PNG in her quest to find the elusive Robert Lewis. Here, through glimpses of her past, we find the events that shaped her and made her into the self-contained, self-reliant individual who just simply cannot give-up, cannot give-in no matter what.
The White Mary is a fast-paced tale with many outstanding and very believable characters. It’s a novel of incredible courage and determination. Decide for yourself. Pick up the book and make the journey.