Tom Davis - This is a hit! What a great story about how God can restore the crumbled pieces of our lives. This was also a good education on the AIDS crisis in Africa and all the innocent lives this disease effects. Good character development which made the reader FEEL the words on the page. I would certainly recommend this book.
If you want to read a fun, lighthearted story put this book on the back burner. If you want to feel good about your life and the way you live in it, don't open a single page. If you want to feel like you are doing enough and don't want a challenge or you enjoy your ignorance of what is going on to people in this world, don't even - wait; I dare you to read this book and remain as you are.Tom Davis brings to life a fictional story that is all too real for far too many. Seen through the eyes of a photojournalist, the horrors of poverty in Africa are revealed. It's not a fairytale story where everyone gets everything they want, but it's a glimpse of truth set with the hope of God's salvation for the "least of these" as well as those with plenty. The reality of what the character sees while on his assignment have an impact on him, as well as with me. I felt as he did with eyes newly opened to see the real people, children with names, instead of statistical numbers representing those dying of starvation and AIDS every day. It was heartbreaking and challenging. It was a difficult book to read, not literally, but emotionally. I couldn't put it down, but it wrenched my soul.It is a call to those who have been given much. In as much as I have been given financially, I could also use some of the complete faith and trust in Jesus that they have to share with me. If you choose to read this book, realize that you will be challenged in the way you live your comfortable, safe life
Scared is what I would call realistic fiction. The entire book (characters, places, events) is based on the reality of life in Swaziland, a small country in Africa where almost 50% of the people suffer from HIV/AIDS. It's hard to read ... or maybe I should say, it's hard to stomach what you're reading. It's hard to read about children who fill the role of head of household, men who rape girls in their family, drought, flood, famine, an AIDS crisis that could cause an entire country to become extinct if things don't change. If it was pure fiction, it would just roll off. But it's not. It's true. These things really happen. And it's tough to take in.The best part of the book, though, is not even the story. It's how it makes you feel. The characters and the things that happen to them evoke emotion. You feel like you are THERE, like you KNOW these people. I pray this book will open peoples' eyes to what is really going on in the world. And not just open their eyes but make them get up and do something about it.I would highly recommend this book to anyone. If you've been to Africa, if you haven't, if you care about the world, if you don't (especially if you don't!) ... This is a unique work of fiction in that it really moves you to action.NOTE: There are some "mature" scenes in this book. Parents might want to read this book before or with their teenage kids. It would make for great discussion!
The main character in this novel is Stuart Daniels, a celebrated & award-winning photojournalist. He's grown weary from seeing horrors all over the world. And he's grown cynical over the way he earns a living. His next assignment which could make or break his career sends him back to Africa to cover the AIDS crisis in Swaziland. There, he meets an amazing young orphan named Adanna, who is fighting for survival in a ravaged & diseased community. She's been transformed after a dream featuring an illuminated man. It's an eye opener when we Americans are exposed to the poverty & corruption in these countries. Those of us who live in the suburbs dont generally see that sort of thing. Tom shows us through the life of Adanna & her little brother & sister that children in those countries dont worry about owning the latest gadget or seeing the newest movie they are concerned about when they will eat their next meal or even their next morsel. I was saddened by the corruption exhibited by a so-called relief agency & the brutality endured by innocent children & encouraged by the sheer joy of worship, all of which were portrayed in this novel. Toms characters are multi-dimensional, believable & engaging. I was rooting for all of the good ones! And he paints an elaborate & detailed landscape; I could easily picture each scene. Even though I have never physically visited Africa, Tom certainly transported me there in this novel. He is incredibly gifted in his wordsmithing & in conveying his heart of compassion for the least of these.Without giving away the end of the book, lets just say that Stuarts encounter with Adanna & the other believers in her circle have reopened his eyes to the truth of the gospel. He returns to his New York City home a changed man. Adannas story also ends with good news. This book was generously provided by Tom Davis.Ponderings by Andrea
Looking for a book that will challenge you and make you feel uncomfortable? I wasnt but it turned out to be exactly what I needed. A few months ago, I won a contest on Anne Jacksons blog to be one of several people to receive a copy of Scared: A Novel on the Edge of the World by Tom Davis. I hadnt heard of Mr. Davis but I thought Id give his novel a chance.Scared is a story about a photojournalist named Stuart Daniels. His life has hit rock bottom after witnessing and photographing the brutality in the African Congo. Stuart is sent on one last mission to redeem his career to a small African country that is in the middle of the AIDS crisis.He visits a village of young orphans and widows. In particular, he meets a little girl named Adanna. She has been forced to grow up quickly after her father left and her mother died. She is the sole caregiver for her younger siblings, Precious and Abu. Stuart is challenged to bring real hope and restoration to Africa through Adannas story.Now, in a dark place thats a world away from home, Stuart will once again confront the harsh reality of a suffering people in a forgotten land. And as a chance encounter becomes divine providence, two very different people will find their lives forever changed.I was in tears over this book. It is such an emotional read as the author describes the harsh reality of a community that is ravaged by tragedy and disease. My eyes were opened to a part of our world Id never even considered. Because of it being such a tragic yet redemptive story, Id recommend not reading this book in public unless you have tissues near by! I cannot wait until Mr. Davis releases his next book in this series: Priceless: A Novel On The Edge Of The World in June of 2010.
Very powerful story! It is sometimes difficult to read, but I highly recommend it! It is beautifully written and captures the plight of orphans in Africa in a very moving way. The characters are so real and memorable. You will be changed by this book.
With the Thanksgiving holiday right around the corner, one does a lot of thinking about what they are thankful for in their life. For many, it's family or having a job or the material things they own. But have you ever been thankful for being alive and well? We as Americans take our way of life for granted. We have so many freedoms that we just immediately dismiss yet there are millions of people all over the world who are suffering and would give anything to have just one thing of ours that we so casually discard. This book really makes you think about what you have and what thankfulness really mean.The contrast between the rich and the poor were incredible. Stuart sees both worlds. He ate the best food at the hotel, better than almost any restaurant in the US with steak and dessert. Then the next day he sees women weeping because their child has died from starvation. When Stuart realizes how much just a little bit of food from the local store helps out, he and his friend buy what they can to help out the village.This book is not preachy at all. It's classified as Christian fiction and faith is obvious throughout the book. However the message about Africa, AIDS and the orphans take a much bigger precedence. This book really opened up my eyes to the plight of other countries and does make me want to go do something about it one day. I'm not sure right now exactly what that is, but I do know that I want to make a difference. While reading this book, I was reminded of a video I watched at church that stated that even though we don't realize it, if we live in the US or any western country, we are rich. Rich means being able to have a clean drink of water or have a roof over our heads. This book clearly makes you realize how much we have to be thankful for in our lives. I challenge you to read it and see if you aren't affected. VERY HIGHLY recommended.
This is a sstory about a photojournalist and the heart-rendering plight of a young girl in Africa. Although the story is fiction Tom Davis says it is based on the reality of living in extreme poverty for the children in many parts of Africa. You cannot put the book down, and you cannot read the book without being changed and challenged. One of the best fiction books I have ever read.
A very moving book. This book felt so real I had to keep telling myself it was fiction. The author does an amazing job of making you feel as if you're there. You can feel the author's heart through the story.
Hoping to salvage a few crumbs from his once award-winning career, photojournalist Stuart Daniels reluctantly takes an assignment in Swaziland, a small African country, to cover the AIDS crisis. What he discovers is suffering that, those of us living comfortably in the United States, cant imagine.Interspersed with Stuarts perspective, is the viewpoint of Adanna, a recently orphaned young girl burdened with the care of her younger siblings, hoping just to survive from day to day. Tomorrow isnt even a thought.Adanna can teach all of us so much.With the current state of the United States economy, we are barraged with negative stories about people losing jobs, overburdened food shelves, and homelessness. All of which are devastating to those affected. Still, in these times, the average American cannot imagine what it would be like to be truly hungry, to live from day to day wondering if you will have food to eat. We search our overfilled closets for the right outfit, while others are fortunate if they have something decent to wear at all.In this fictional story, author Tom Davis breathes reality into the plight of people who live in places like Swaziland. The reader experiences, along with Adanna, what it feels like not to have eaten for days, to live in fear of mans brutality. We see through Stuarts eyes how much we have, and how just a small sacrifice on our part can help.Like Stuart, we probably have the most to learn.We also experience hope, and see that God has not forgotten his children. God has presented us with an awesome opportunity to reach out to those who are truly in need.You cant read this story and not be affected. This is a rare work of fiction that touches on all our emotions and motivates people into action. Its a novel I will highly recommend to readers of fiction and non-fiction.
Scared by Tom Davis is a heartbreaking look at a world we spend much of our lives trying to ignore. Adanna is a 12 year old girl in Swaziland trying to make the best of the life God has given her. She cares for her two younger siblings when her mother is ill and tries to ignore the pains of hunger that color every aspect of her life. Stuart Daniels is a award-winning photographer best known for a photo of horrific violence that indicts him as an witness to horror. His inaction has haunted him in the years since, creating cracks in his marriage and nearly ending his career. He's given a last chance to redeem himself by returning to Africa and trying to capture the face of AIDS. In Adanna he may find the hope he needs to recover his faith in God and his life as well. Davis has taken his personal experiences in Africa and turned them into a powerful book that will capture readers' hearts. Adanna's story brings a real face to the tragic story of AIDS in a country that is devastated by deaths from the disease that in the US has become far more treatable. This is a novel that will not let go of readers' hearts.
Anyone who knows me well knows that I am not, generally speaking, a fan of (current) Christian fiction. So much of it is shallow, self-congratulatory moralizing in a quality not always worthy of print. In the case of Tom Davis's "Scared: A Novel On The Edge Of The World", this hardly the case. In fact, finished the book last night (this morning) at 4 am, glued to every page.This book is not for the faint of heart, portraying a reality that is graphic and heartbreaking. As someone who has traveled widely for missions & relief work, I can attest that this book does not overstate the harsh conditions people live with worldwide, many of them easily remedied through responsible, compassionate relationship. Though written as a work of fiction, Tom's own first hand experience with poverty, AIDS and other human suffering add an authority and authenticity to the story that is much needed.I would highly encourage you to purchase copies today- yes, I said copies, as you will want to give a few of them away. This is a critical read for those who live in the comfort of our Western affluence, but genuinely seek to know God's heart for His children worldwide. Tom provides clear and helpful direction at the end of the book for getting involved responsibly. I stress responsible involvement because, as those who have travelled to this regions know, well-intentioned Western involvement is not always helpful. Tom & Children's HopeChest are very aware of these dynamics, working to act with responsible compassion for lasting change.While perhaps rough around the literary edges (as would be expected of any first time novelist), the raw emotion and realism of this tale will keep you turning page after page. Please, buy it today.
Tom Davis' first novel gripped me by the throat and refused to let go. I no longer sat in a comfortable chair in my bedroom merely reading a book; I bumped along in a jeep on dusty clay roads, inhaled sweaty fear, witnessed atrocities that provoked gut-wrenching despair and anger, and grieved over inhumane conditions that pound innocent families on a continent plagued with disease and corruption. Sweet little Adanna, already fatherless and literally starving, faces the unthinkable when her mother becomes gravely ill. Frightened yet determined to provide a meal for her two younger siblings, Precious and Abu, Adanna innocently brings horrendous calamity upon herself in her desperate search food.Into this hostile environment Stuart Daniels, a world renown, award-winning photographer arrives. A decade earlier Stuart nearly lost his life photographing the violence that, unthinkably, continues to worsen in the heart of Africa. That trip was the beginning of the end for him. He's all but dead on the inside, his marriage is slowly dying and he is on the brink of losing his job. Drawn back to the very place that stole his soul, Stuart can't help but wonder what on earth he's doing in this god-forsaken corner of the world.Scared is authentic, intense, and in-your-face. It stops short of demanding action on the part of its reader, but you won't be able to help yourself. Warning: Tom Davis' powerful novel will make you rethink your life. And it just might save some.
This is a life changing story! Tears were flowing down my cheeks through a good portion of the book. I don't recommend reading this in public because you'd have a hard time getting past the lump in your throat to explain just what it was that evoked that level of emotion in you. I'm not exaggerating. You'd have to have a heart of stone not to be emotionally moved when you read Scared. The entire time I read this book I was in Africa right along with the characters. That's great writing.I've rarely experienced this level of realism in a novel, especially in the CBA. It's so realistic, it's downright edgy - but to the extreme. Like the Holocaust, there are some awful things that happen in this book. Unspeakable things. But it also shows how God holds those who suffer close to His heart. You see that in this book in a way that is rarely portrayed in Christian fiction. All of the ugly stuff is not smoothed over, nor is the God-given compassion. When the people who were starving literally danced with joy when offered a meager ration of food, it really touched me. We have so much in this country, yet we are so ungrateful. Gratitude is definitely a missing element in most people's lives in the United States. We'd be so much kinder to each other if we were truly grateful for the gift of salvation we've been given, and for the many undeserved blessings that God has granted us. One way to thank Him is by showing love in action and not just in our words. Truly beautiful themes permeate this story and will stay with you long after you finish. Here's the bottome line...Scared portrays how the love and integrity of one pre-adolescent girl changed an entire nation. That left me breathless. Oh, and I'll never say I'm starving again. One caution, though. Don't read this novel if you have a weak stomach or if atrocities will give you flashbacks. It's harsh in some places, but sooo worth reading. I highly recommend it.