CHILDREN OF ALLAH by Agnes Newton Keith
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It is easy to see that Agnes Newton Keith is one of the beautiful Americans. Her Land Below the Wind was a happy excursion into Borneo where she was sent as a bride; Three Came Home took a different tack as she described life as a new mother in a Japanese prison camp; now, some thirty years later, she makes another sojourn in a land little known to the West, Libya. In 1955 her husband was called to Libya as an FAO expert on forestry to combat the encroaching Sahara. Harry and Agnes Keith stayed in Libya for nine years. The author has an evident talent for people; she likes them and they like her. She was literally burned up over the position of women in Libya, immured in their homes, unable to take desperately ill children to doctors, or to go to the post office to buy the stamp that commemorated their advancement. She was ""Ma"" not only to her son George but to her houseboy Mohammed, whose portrait is the most moving in the book. Mohammed was the only support of aged and ill parents and a teen-age bride; their first son died as his mother's babies had died before, but he became the father of two more sons before he left on his first great adventure in the world, a trip to the Sahara. Mohammed exemplified all the passionate hope pitted against unbearable odds that the author sensed in this country. But there is more than hope to go on today, there is oil, and while the prosperity has not yet filtered down very far, the ragged Libyans are rich. Mrs. Keith practices person-to-person diplomacy; her open-hearted book extends itself with warmth and immediacy to a readership she has already secured. They will return the welcome.

Pub Date: Feb. 23rd, 1965
Publisher: Little, Brown-A.M.P.