Blog tour day!
Thanks to the publisher and author for the ebook copy in exchange for my honest review.
SOMETIMES THE DARKNESS by Will Campbell
American Hanley Martin is troubled by his success. A wealthy aerospace industrialist, he was taught he should help others as a means of balancing the scales for his good fortune. He searches for ways to give back that will comfort his soul.
So when during a trip to the Paris Air Show in 1999 Martin unexpectedly meets the head of a Catholic mission in southern Sudan his life changes forever. As he learns more about the desperate need for pilots to dispatch medical supplies and visiting doctors to and from their remote clinic and school in Mapuordit —which sits on the refugee trail from Darfur to Kenya— Martin finally realises his true life’s mission.
Meanwhile, Sister Marie Claire —a French nun already working at the Mapuordit mission— is tirelessly helping the Sudanese people fleeing the war in Darfur. Crafting a network of volunteers her focus is to save the children sold into slavery, and forced to work in the country’s more prosperous cities, by whatever means necessary. She needs only one additional piece to complete her plan. So when Hanley Martin and his plane arrive at Mapuordit, she asks herself if the American may be the answer to her prayers?
A story of fate and sacrifice, Sometimes the Darkness draws readers into the lives of Campbell’s vivid and memorable characters and the tension and conflict set in Africa —a continent that remains mysterious to many readers even to this day.
Blistering and astutely written, Sometimes the Darkness is the perfect next read for readers looking for a fresh new voice in contemporary and political fiction.
My Thoughts: 3.5/5 stars!
I went into SOMETIMES THE DARKNESS by Will Campbell blindly. Sometimes that works in my favor and other times I end up encountering a book that’s a genre/reader mismatch. I will say that I love the historical fiction elements and the writing itself, but some of the more religious undertones are themes I try to avoid in books (just a topic that I’m not a huge fan of). That being said, this book is still beautifully written.
Hanley Martin is a wealthy American aerospace industrialist, and he has become troubled by his success. He knows that he must balance out his good fortune by giving back to others in order to feel complete. Everything changes for him in 1999 when his path crosses with the head of a Catholic mission in Sudan. They are desperate for pilots to bring medical supplies and visiting doctors to the remote clinic and school in Mapuordit in southern Sudan. This lies on a refugee trail from Darfur to Kenya and Martin finally feels he has found his calling.
We also follow Sister Marie Claire, a French nun that is already in Mapourdit, and she is working hard to help the Sudanese people flee the war in Darfur. She will stop at nothing to save the children being sold into slavery but there’s one key piece to her plan missing. Will Hanley Martin be the answer to her prayers to help these children?
I will say that the characters and development in this book are great. The author really created these characters for the reader and you can tell Campbell did his research about the tension and conflict in Sudan. While it wasn’t the main focus, the religious theme in the novel just wasn’t the right genre for me personally.
Overall, this was a tensely written novel with some historical and political fiction elements. I will definitely look for future work from Campbell. The characters and writing made for a solid read that kept me pulled in and turning the pages
About the Author:
Will Campbell is the pen name of Stephen Weir. He lives in Charleston and Greenville, WV. Stephen Weir is a former certified economic developer (CEcD) with over thirty years experience managing economic development organisations from the city to state level. He has also worked in international trade, helping establish the West Virginia’s first international trade office in Nagoya, Japan. He has previously published economic development articles and op-ed pieces in the Economic Development Review, West Virginia Executive Magazine and the Charleston Daily Mail and Gazette. His interest in politics, literature and writing led to the penning of his debut novel.
Thanks again to the publisher for the blog tour spot!