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When the Nile Runs Red by DiAnn Mills

Reviewed by Sheryl Root

"...Diann reveals daily life, with its many struggles, through the eyes of three very different people, each connected by love, friendship, and loyalty to one another."

Diann Mills takes her readers into war torn southern Sudan in When the Nile Runs Red. Set in 2005, at the very beginning of the fragile peace treaty between north and south, Diann reveals daily life, with its many struggles, through the eyes of three very different people, each connected by love, friendship, and loyalty to one another.

Paul Farid grew up as a Muslim. Having once persecuted and tortured the southern Sudanese, his conversion to Christianity changed his heart and life in dramatic ways. Now working with a relief agency, Paul seeks to bring aid and the gospel to the war weary people. However, his conversion also makes him a target—his own family has put a contract out on his life, furious at his betrayal of Islam.

Colonel Ben Alier is a war-hardened veteran who has led his soldiers for two decades against the Northern government. He sees no evidence of God in the blood and brutality of battle. While he respects Paul and his beliefs, he is also jealous of Paul for winning the heart of the only woman he ever loved. Now Ben faces a personal battle of another kind, and he is determined to rectify the mistakes of his past before it is too late.

Dr. Larson Kerr Farid is Paul's wife and a gifted doctor. She works long hours caring for the sick of Sudan, loving the people she serves, but continually worrying about her husband's safety. When an unexpected pregnancy creates more questions than answers for Larson and Paul, their love for each other and faith in God are tested as never before.

As the three battle against the forces of evil raging from without and the doubts raging within, can they learn to trust one another with the secrets that they hide? And can they learn to trust God with protecting and providing for their lives?

The horrors and tragedy of war, poverty, and despair are so often on the nightly news that it can become easy for us to close our eyes and harden our hearts. It can be easy to forget that, while these tragedies may seem to happen to nameless, faceless masses, to God each one is an individual. He knew them before they were conceived, and he knows the number of hairs on their heads. But it isn't until we can learn to "see" those individual lives, affected by events and history, that they truly become real to us.

That is the treasure of story. It can personalize those "big events" and give us a glimpse of the people who are affected and changed by them. It helps us to see that their lives are very much like yours and mine. And hopefully, next time we see some situation on the news, we will have a heart more like God's, tender and grieving and interceding in prayer.

With enough suspense and character struggles to keep the reader turning the pages, anxious to find out how it all ends, When the Nile Runs Red is both an entertaining and worthwhile read.

Sheryl RootSheryl Root is Partner Database Manager at OneHope, a non-profit organization whose mission is to reach every child with God’s Word. She’s also a writer and a reader of everything she can get her hands on … books, blogs, magazines. In other words, she’s both a data geek and a book nerd. She loves to be able to support Christian authors and spread the word on great books and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, a wonderful community of published and yet to be published writers. You can follow her on Twitter at @Sheryl_Root.