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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Listening For Lions

Listening for Lions
Listening for Lions is a new book by Gloria Whelan. It is the story of a girl, 13 years old, born to missionary parents in British East Africa. It is 1919, just after the Great War, during an outbreak of influenza. Rachel Sheridan is orphaned when her parents die as a result of contracting influenza from the people they are treating in their missionary hospital. Soon, in her grief, Rachel becomes entangled in a plot that takes her to England to impersonate a girl about her own age whose parents are less than honest. In fact these neighbors in Africa, an English couple who hate living in Africa, are trying to use Rachel to ensure they inherit a fortune. Rachel must reach within her self, and forgive herself for being dishonest, when she realizes what is expected of her.

This is an interesting story of another time, somewhat romanticized, when young women of means were not expected to become educated or enter into a profession. Rachel is actually a very decent and honest person, who is caught in a situation she would not have normally chosen had her parents survived the influenza epidemic. While some of her choices are ill advised, she does own up to her part in the deception. A good "values" story.

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