The Existence of Pity by Jeannie Zokan
Growing up in a lush valley in the Andes mountains, sixteen-year-old Josie Wales is mostly isolated from the turbulence brewing in 1976 Colombia. As the daughter of missionaries, Josie feels torn between their beliefs and the need to choose for herself. She soon begins to hide things from her parents, like her new boyfriend, her trips into the city, and her explorations into different religions.
Josie eventually discovers her parents’ secrets are far more insidious. When she attempts to unravel the web of lies surrounding her family, each thread stretches to its breaking point. Josie tries to save her family, but what happens if they don’t want to be saved?
The Existence of Pity is a story of flawed characters told with heart and depth against the beautiful backdrop of Colombia.
Jeannie Zokan grew up in Colombia, South America, where she read almost every book in the American school she attended. Her love of books led her to study Library Science at Baylor University then to attend The George Washington University in DC. When the chance came to head south, she took her motorcycle to Florida’s Gulf Coast to write stories for the local newspaper.
She now lives ten minutes from the beach with her husband, two teenage daughters, and three pets, all of whom keep her inspired and just a little frantic. She enjoys aerial yoga, tennis, and holding NICU babies as a volunteer. But there’s always writing. Writing to relive, writing to understand, writing to remember, writing to renew.
Josie Wales lives in Cali, Columbia with her missionary parents in the late 1970’s. Josie is 16 and starting to test out the waters to find her own beliefs and thoughts. A lot of this is different from her parents Baptist beliefs. As she start exploring her world she starts keeping secrets from her parents about things like her boyfriend and looking into other religions. But she is not the only one keeping secrets. Her parents are keeping secrets from her and each other. Secrets that could destroy the whole family.
Being a missionary’s kid is tough. You get forced into a box and are supposed to live it. I felt for Josie as she is trying to find her own place in the world. But she is balancing on a knife trying to be the girl her parents want but trying new things that appeal to her. But things are going to explode when secrets come out as Josie start digging into them.
This is a great story. I had moments where I was laughing and others where I was crying. This is a captivating story and one that I think everyone should check out.
I received The Existence of Pity from the author and Red Adept Publishing for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.