The Mourning of Angels

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Synopsis and Reviews


Young, Jesuit-educated Lydia Schaefer is one of the first from Milwaukee to become a Peace Corps volunteer. The poverty, political violence and machismo she encounters in Peru force her to question her belief system. It is Rafael Serrano, a mixed-race medical doctor, and his mother Teresa, a wise woman and midwife, who teach Lydia at the indomitable spirit of the Andean people. In the mountains of Peru, Lydia endures blows that test her courage and will to live. Although she gains wisdom, she sacrifices much before returning home.


"In straight forward, beautifully descriptive prose, subtly impregnated with the political cultural history of Peru, Edmisten charts Lydia Schaefer's journey from a stark, tragic maturity....She also shows the wonderful gutsiness and tenacity of those early Peace Corps volunteers who plunged gamely into uncharted admirable book and one that superbly fulfills the third goal of the Peace Corps, 'to bring the world home.'" Marnie Mueller, winner of the American Book Award.