is 1979. "Missionary" follows the adventures of Naomi,
a beautiful College of Charleston student who travels to Africa
and finds herself in the middle of a military coup.
Naomi convinces her strict, southern Baptist parents that she heard
God's calling to become a missonary so they would let her travel
to Ghana. She neglects to tell them that she's in love with Emmanuel
Edrah, a Ghanaian student she has been secretly dating.
This poignant tale explores
the love of God, family, friends, first love and revolutionary love.
The author weaves historical events with fictional characters so
well that the reader feels an instant familiarity.
Ms. Edwards has written a very fascinating and interesting book.
She sets her story in two of the most significant places in the
African and African-American experience: Charleston, South Carolina
and Ghana, West Africa. These are two places with which Africans
and Americans of African descent have many ancestral and emotional
ties because of their connections to the slave trade, Gullah-geechee
culture, Pan-Africanism, and African independence movements.
The novel focuses
primarily on the love relationship that developed between a native
of Charleston and a Ghanaian attending the College of Charleston.
setting of the novel alternates back and forth from Charleston to
is paralleled by the rise of the regime of Flight Lieutenant Jerry
Rawlings as Ghana's ruler after a coup in 1979. This seemingly insider's
view of the 1979 coup makes the book more than just a tale of obsessive
love and eventual marriage...
William Marvin Dulaney,
of the Avery Research Center African-American Museum
Charleston, South Carolina
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