An unusual first novel by the wife of one of the missionaries killed in the Amazon jungle in 1956; she has previously...

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An unusual first novel by the wife of one of the missionaries killed in the Amazon jungle in 1956; she has previously written accounts of this tragedy. In this book, the circumscribed, tearless vision of the missionary is jolted into a wider understanding when Margaret Sparhawk, a timid novitiate, pursues her call to bring God's Word to the Indians of Equador. Anxiety-ridden by her alienation from the closed circuit, supralogical direction of her compeers, Margaret seeks out and finds the trust of an Indian family--likable Pedro, skeptical Rosa and their children, and is laconically accepted as ""the white Senorita"" who brings Medicine to the community. Once or twice doubts touch her as she contemplates her isolation--at a missionary conference and in the village. She wonders at the statement by a woman doctor on the fringes of the movement that ""one can only do what is True."" Her translation of the Bible into Quinchuas progresses, although status-raising Spanish is the preferred language of the Indians. At the close, Margaret unwittingly is responsible for the death of Pedro and faces her doubt in God's ""collaboration"" for the first time. She accepts bleakly the terrible validity of a human condition in which meaning is superfluous. A curiously sombre and moving book.

Pub Date: March 30, 1966

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1966