113. The White Mary

The White Mary by Kira Salak

Pages: 351
Finished: June 22, 2008
First Published: Aug. 2008
Genre: literature
Rating: 5/5

Reason for Reading: The publisher, Henry Holt, sent me an ARC.

First sentence:

The black waters of Elobi Creek show no sign of a current.

Comments: Marika Vecera is a journalist who travels around the world reporting on wars and atrocities. Just after arriving back from the Congo she hears that Robert Lewis, a journalist she has always admired, almost to obsession, has committed suicide but no body found. While writing a biography on Lewis, Marika comes across a letter from a missionary who swears he saw Lewis alive in the jungles of Papua New Guinea months after he supposedly died. Marika decides to travel there herself and find him.

This book was fabulous! The descriptions of Papua New Guinea (PNG) are breathtaking. I was hooked from the first chapter. The violence of war and torture is hard hitting and uncomfortable to read but impossible to put down. The jungle and the life of the native tribes is simply amazing. Imagine entering a world which has never experienced any modern conveniences nor even knows that they exist. Marika is a many layered character who undertakes this journey that will forever change her character. Ultimately, this is a story of hope, faith and healing. We encounter two characters, one who has lost their faith in God and one who finds it. The ending is both bittersweet and heart-touching. I just really loved everything about this book: the action, the realism, the characters (especially Tobo, the witch doctor), the exotic location and the power of the story.

So far this year The True History of the Kelly Gang has been in the position of probably being my favourite book of 2008 but The White Mary has just become a very likely contender.


  1. I have an ARC of this book sitting on my to-read stack - it's up next. I can't wait now, after seeing your 5/5 rating. (I skipped the review, in case there were any spoilers.)

  2. Hey carrie, I always try not to give any spoilers but I, too, always skip over reviews of books I'm reading soon. I hope you like this one, I loved it so much!

  3. Awesome review Nicola! This book sounds wonderful. You just added another one to Mt. TBR!

  4. Great review, I have this on my tbr pile as well and can't wait to read it. I recently read The Gargoyle which was an arc and that is my favorite of 2008 so far.


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