Why this book?
Philip Caputo made his name—and won a Pulitzer—for a memoir of the Vietnam War. Acts of Faith is a novel but is equally searing: an indictment of adrenaline-driven aid junkies, missionaries, and uncritical western politicians who connived in the 1990s with African warlords to create what would become South Sudan. I turned the pages of this book with a growing sense of familiarity. Many of Caputo’s characters—the soldiers, the bush pilots, the priests—are based on real people that I knew. But you don’t need to know the history to find this a compelling read.
Why should I read it?
What is this book about?
Philip Caputo’s tragic and epically ambitious new novel is set in Sudan, where war is a permanent condition. Into this desolate theater come aid workers, missionaries, and mercenaries of conscience whose courage and idealism sometimes coexist with treacherous moral blindness. There’s the entrepreneurial American pilot who goes from flying food and medicine to smuggling arms, the Kenyan aid worker who can’t help seeing the tawdry underside of his enterprise, and the evangelical Christian who comes to Sudan to redeem slaves and falls in love with a charismatic rebel commander.
As their fates intersect and our understanding of their characters deepens,…