Long Walk Home – DiAnn Mills

Long Walk Home DiAnn Mills
Long Walk Home by DiAnn Mills
Also by this author: Airborne, Fatal Strike, Deadly Encounter, High Treason, Deep Extraction, Where Tomorrow Leads
Series: Hope of Sudan #1
Published by Tyndale on June 4, 2019
Genres: Fiction, Christian, General
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five-stars

As an Arab Christian pilot for a relief organization, Paul Farid feels called to bring supplies to his war-torn countrymen in southern Sudan. But with constant attacks from Khartoum’s Islamic government, the villagers have plenty of reasons to distrust Paul, and he wonders if the risks he’s taking are really worth his mission.

American doctor Larson Kerr started working with the Sudanese people out of a sense of duty and has grown to love them all, especially Rachel, her young assistant. But despite the years she’s spent caring for them, her life feels unfulfilled. It’s a void that both Paul and Rachel’s older brother, Colonel Ben Alier of the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army, notice.

When Rachel is abducted, Paul, Ben, and Larson agree to set aside their differences to form an unlikely alliance and execute a daring rescue. Their faith and beliefs tested, each must find the strength to walk the path God has laid before them, to find their way home.

Could I just…self-proclaim myself as DiAnn Mills’ biggest fan at this point? Long Walk Home is unlike any other novel I have ever read.  It reminds me more of a nonfiction book in its topic–missionary work in war-torn Sudan. In typical DiAnn Mills fashion, however, bullets fly. The bodies pile up, and the romance seems real. More than her other books, though, Long Walk Home focused on the good news of the gospel. Once I met the characters, I rooted for them from the first page to the very last, even the ones I didn’t like as much. This novel isn’t about the romance. First and foremost, it talks about what God can do and His never-ending love for His people.

Paul Farid used to persecute those from southern Sudan, but an old man opened his eyes to the truth. After that point, nothing mattered to Paul but doing God’s work. The fact that his family had a death wish for him…it didn’t matter. All he wanted to do was use his wealth to impact lives in Christ’s name. When he delivered invaluable medical supplies to Dr. Larson Kerr, he never expected to witness a kidnapping or suffer a bullet wound. The sister of a colonel has been taken, and he’s determined to help find her. But she’s not the only lost one in the village. Larson’s heart is hard to the Lord, and Paul knows Christ is calling her name.

Meanwhile, Larson’s seen it all, including the lives of far too many children cut short from disease. She’s witnessed child soldiers, dying with rifles in their hands and fear in their eyes. There’s no way a loving God would allow any of the violence or illness to happen. Clearly He either isn’t there, or He just doesn’t care. Colonel Ben Alier’s younger sister, Rachel, had such a bright future ahead of her; why would God allow such an innocent heart to fall into enemy hands?

Mills always includes a faith element in her books. In that respect, Long Walk Home by DiAnn Mills is probably my favorite out of all her books. It so perfectly demonstrates how God can work even in the darkest of hours, and how it is never too late to listen to His voice. You can never do anything to make Him stop loving you, even if you no longer believe in Him. We may not always be holding onto Him as we should, but He always reaches a hand to us to pull us up out of the deepest of pits.

There were a couple things I didn’t like, but I won’t go into them due to spoilers. I didn’t particularly like Ben Alier’s personality, but I think that was intentional. At the time of writing this review, I’ve already read the second book; Ben’s now redeemed in my eyes, and I understand him a bit better. Enjoy this book. Savor it. Step into the past, into a land to which I’m sure few of us have ever traveled. Take your time with Long Walk Home by DiAnn Mills. Examine it like a piece of piece of art, studying all its brush strokes and its different shades. In some novels, authors seem to throw in action scenes to fill dead space, but that’s not Long Walk Home at all. In my opinion, it deserves to be displayed in a glass box at a museum for Christian literature. You won’t regret your visit!

five-stars