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Acts of Faith by Philip Caputo
Set in Sudan during its civil war in the 1990s, Acts of Faith revolves around a group of mostly Westerners who go to the Sudan to provide aid. Douglas Braithwaite is an American pilot who has to come to fly relief supplies into dangerous areas. It's a move that is both entrepreneurial and moralistic. He partners with Fitzhugh Martin, a biracial Kenyan, and Wesley Dare, a wisecracking bush pilot from Texas. Quinette Hardin comes with missionary zeal from Indiana to work with a group that buys back slaves from Arab raiders. Lady Diana Briggs comes from a family who has roots in colonial Africa and she desperately wants to save the land she loves. While they all ostensibly want to save the black Christians of southern Sudan from the forces of the Islamic government in Khartoum, their own personal ambitions and zealotry lead them down paths where any deed can be rationalized in their fight seen as good versus evil. Philip Caputo's novel has received much priase with the Miami Herald saying, "But the reader realizes -- perhaps it's an unhappy realization -- that the human flaws he describes, the war he chronicles, even the love affairs he invents are as real as an academic history. He creates a Sudan so beautiful, so awful, so authentic, so wonderful, so hopeless, it grieves the heart."