A moving account of a physician's struggles to introduce compassion and hope into the lives of Palestinian refugees and Lebanese victims of war during the turbulent days of the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon and the months beyond. In 1983, under the auspices of the US State Department-funded International Rescue Committee, Richards helped establish a hospital near the beleaguered city of Sidon and on the outskirts of the Palestinian refugee camp Ein el-Hilweh. During her year-and-a-half stint, the author was subjected not only to sniper fire, shelling, and terrorist attacks, but to the suspicion and recalcitrance of the religious and ethnic groups with which she came in contact. Seemingly undaunted by the violence and the prejudices around her, Richards continued her attempts to alleviate the suffering. Written in an understated style that adds immeasurably to its impact, her story is one of bravery and dedication, of self-reliance and ingenuity. Richards personalizes the narrative with touching (and often surprisingly amusing) portraits of her coworkers, her patients, and the combatants around her. Description of her attempts to retrieve a suitcase lost during a trip back from North Africa, for example, begins hilariously, then becomes heartrending when the implications of the story are revealed. In this calmly assured work, the reader will find reason for hope even as the Lebanese violence continues. A welcome and much-needed portrayal of human values at work in a brutal and dehumanizing world.