MARY H. WEBB


 

 

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The Book of Days: A Journey

Synopsis

"She went into everything feeling first and tended to trust people." This is the way Andrea Bowman lives her life. Whether it is through her political activism in the Civil Rights Movement, he love affairs with men of conscience or her untiring devotion to her ten year old son, Alex, she plunges into each moment with dynamic strength, conviction, and an eagerness to learn.

And this is the way she approaches her decision to take Alex out of school for a year, quit her job as a welfare worker and travel to Europe and Africa with him and fellow social worker and activist, Stacy Durant. Carrying their clothes and sleeping bags on their backs and with a single tent for shelter, Andrea, Alex and Stacy arrive in London to begin a journey that will take them into the hearts, minds and souls of the people they meet.

From Hyde Park where they meet George Singh after listening to his enormously powerful speech about his politically oppressed homeland, Guyana, the three travelers move on to "le camping" at the Bois de Boulogne outside of Paris. Here, Andrea finds Mustapha, a Tunisian who had come to France eight years before to be educated in the country of his former oppressors who had raped his mother. Andrea is deeply moved by the stories of both these men and asks herself as she writes in her journal: "How does the torturer ever eat again, breathe, sleep? How does the person who has been tortured ever recover?"

In Greece, Andrea encounters the foul breath of political repression as she attempts to renew her relationship with Stavros, the only man she has ever really loved. Determined to be with him, if only for a short moment in time, she risks the danger that lurks around her.

Clinging to the memory of her time with Stavros and the thread of a possible future with him, Andrea moves on with Alex to seek new places and new experiences, and Stacy returns to France to be with her lover whom she met in the Bois de Boulogne.

In Africa, Andrea and Alex find life in its fullest sense: the harmonious integration of art with everyday living, the raw joy and agony of people learning to deal with political independence and the squalor left by their former oppressors, and most of all, the generosity and love of people whose traditions nourish their seemingly endless sense of hospitality.

THE BOOK OF DAYS: A JOURNEY is a story of special people, those who are unafraid to take the risks that will bring them to the core of life and its richest moments.

Last updated November 26,2006