This long-awaited novel by Susan Minot is hailed as ‘ambitious’ and ‘luminous’ on the cover blurb and those are the perfect terms to describe it.
In Thirty Girls, Minot’s narrative follows thirty girls in war-torn Africa who are abducted from a Catholic boarding school by Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army. As the girls and the journalist covering their story are drawn deeper into the pathos that is taking place in this dark landscape of Africa, the exquisite power of Minot’s word-smithing builds. She takes a complex and heart wrenching real world situation and renders it with mesmerizing detail.
Few authors could paint this nauseating human rights abuse with such humanity and gritty realism, showing the world through the eyes of the characters without trending into sentimentalism. Told with Minot’s trademark forthrightness and unflinching descriptions, the reader is drawn into this most disgusting of issues, the abuse of women and children, and fully immersed in the complex web of abuse, politics, economics, and struggle for survival in barbarous circumstances. From the dramatic pacing to the hypnotic wordcraft, Thirty Girls is a masterpiece in all senses of the word.