DAYLIGHT MUST COME: The Story of a Courageous Woman Doctor in the Congo by Alan Burgess

DAYLIGHT MUST COME: The Story of a Courageous Woman Doctor in the Congo

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Almost twenty years ago (1957) Alan Burgess told the story of another missionary -- in China -- The Small Woman. Helen Roseveare is really more exceptional -- apparently a very plain-faced woman whom God has endowed with a humility life would strengthen and a dedication second to none. Helen went from England to the Belgian Congo in 1953 where, helped by a young black, John, from the rain forest (this partnership would continue for seventeen years), she began to train nurses as well as John who became a supremely skillful surgeon. They started their hospital in Nebobongo which in time would serve 48 rural clinics via pickup truck. She returned to England in 1960 to secure further medical training and perhaps a husband (here she failed). She then went back and refused to be frightened away -- by the austerity of the tin can diet, by a mamba snake in her zinc bowl, by various illnesses, or by the increasingly charged political situation. Eventually, with others, she was the victim of the People's Liberation Army (rape, assault, imprisonment) but somehow she was handpicked for survival and went home again. Once again she returned to the ""graveyard"" which was their field of operations in the devastated Congo where she and John built up new medical centers and rural hospitals. Burgess tells her story with containment which does not exclude its considerable human interest and it is gratefully free of the sugarlined cliches of say Dorothy Clarke Wilson.

Publisher: Delacorte