Book Reviews: Dramatic Story of a 'Sudanese Soul'

The News Letter (Belfast, Northern Ireland), May 5, 2003 | Go to article overview

Book Reviews: Dramatic Story of a 'Sudanese Soul'


Byline: LOUISE McIVOR

Emma's War by Deborah Scroggins. Published by HarperCollins. pounds 17.99

IN the early 1990s, Emma McCune, a young British aid worker, fell in love and married one of Sudan's rebel leaders. Deborah Scroggins is an American journalist who was covering the famine and civil war in Sudan for her newspaper, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

She tells us Emma's story, in all its complexity, drama and tragedy.

The book takes us from Emma's fractured childhood, the start of her love affair with Africa while at Oxford Polytechnic to her untimely death.

It is down to Scroggins' skill as a writer that Emma is portrayed in all her complexity. What emerges is a vibrant, passionate woman, who is, at times, at best nave and misguided. What also comes across is Emma's courage and her love for the Sudan. Indeed, she tells one of her friends that she feels her "soul is Sudanese".

This is a complex, harrowing, but compelling read. It's not only Emma's story but the story of a country torn apart by war and famine. …

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