Monthly Archives: October 2015
Waves in the Desert laps and moistens the fertile shore of Mia’s idealistic aim of ridding the world of famine beginning with the African Continent. The vehicle for this noble aim is Sustainable Futures (SuFu) founded principally by Mia.
K. A. Beadle cleverly employs juxtaposition contrasting the fortunes and misfortune of Mia in her altruistic quest. A duality of preparation and survival; of idealism and reality; present and past. The book opens up in the present before going back to where it all started. It then takes on a now and then pattern that concludes very neatly at the end of the Epilogue.
The author writes with authority of her subject taking the reader through each stage of the organisation’s set-up both educationally and entertainingly.
Threading their way through the stage by stage construction of SuFu are the typical relationship conflicts and rites of passage young people experience, which makes this is a young people’s book. It is written very much in tune with contemporary trends in music, performers, language and attitudes and so on.
Characters are introduced seamlessly as the novel progresses. Veronica is Mia’s principal fellow traveler and confidante accompanied by the ever present and reliable camera-man Kevin and a host of other characters too numerous to mention each adding texture to the novel’s progression.
Juxtaposed alongside this progression is the account of Mia’s survival a few years hence. The author keeps the tension taut, which had me at times tempted to rush reading the few years earlier sections in order to return to her struggle for survival.
All in all Waves in the Desert was a fascinating, not rushed, authentic insight to the world of humanitarian work in African – Somalia and Ethiopia – from SuFu’s inception, the funding of such a large scale project (culminating in a Band Aid type Benefit Concert) and the mental, cultural and physical training Mia, Veronica and the volunteers had to commit themselves to.
Such was the authenticity with which the book was written I felt at times I was reading a memoir. Waves in the Desert is not just a good read but a testimony to the human spirit. An account of altruistic humanness gives birth to humanitarianism. It is also, I hasten to add, an account of where idealism comes face to face with reality. If there was such a category as ‘faction’ Waves in the Desert would be a natural candidate.