Johanna Holland is a never-married 40 year old librarian with a nice comfortable life... but all that is about to change. In a matter of weeks she goes from caregiver of her elderly parents to single lady with time on her hand.... and then Sam enters the picture. Sam is everything Johanna is not... at least she thinks he is. He is a widower with a call to missions... active hands-on missions in Papua New Guinea. And somehow he is able to convince Johanna to accompany him on a mission trip to this far away place.
We watch as Johanna attempts to adjust to life in the jungle among natives who speak no English with missionaries who haven't been able to break the language barrier with the natives. There are snakes... mud...monkeys... animals that are considered sacred and so can't be eaten...disease... crime (in a fashion)...heat... bugs... none of the comforts of home... isolation...
So does Johanna survive? Does she decide God is calling her to missions or does she decide He just wants her to stay home? I want give that part away, but I will tell you it is not what most of us would assume is going to happen. Copeland gives things a bit of a twist.
Throughout the book the reader is privy to Johanna's thoughts... to her struggles and questions ... her excitement and heartache... her anger and frustration... her love and compassion... I loved that the most. It was enthralling to me to watch everything play out inside her as I also watched things happening to her and around her.
Like I stated at the beginning, this is not a light and easy fun read. It certainly isn't difficult read, but it is a bit heavier than Copeland's normal fare.. and soo worth it! This is definitely one of the best books I have read this year. Very challenging, thought provoking and insightful.