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Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, Canada
My virtue is that I say what I think, my vice that what I think doesn't amount to much.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Thirty Girls

This novel is based on the real life abduction of schoolgirls by the Lord's Resistance Army, a group of rebels led by notorious Joseph Kony, that took place in 1996.
Minot's sixth novel opens with the terrifying abduction of the 139 girls from their Catholic school. Sister Giulia, the headmistress, follows the group and negotiates the return of all but 30 of the girls.
An American journalist named Jane Wood has traveled to Africa to write about the children kidnapped by Kony’s forces. Esther is one of the abducted Ugandan girls. Their stories are told in alternate chapters. 
Jane falls in with a party loving, privileged expat group and they tag along on her trip to interview some of the kidnap victims. Jane has an affair with Harry, a much younger member of the entourage. Her clinging behaviour with Harry is perhaps the result of her disastrous marriage to a junkie but who really cares?
Esther tells her horrific story in a straightforward way without focusing on her personal pain. Jane's problems juxtaposed with those of Esther force the reader to look at priorities. 
I am a Minot fan and I loved this book.

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