“If We Survive” is an action-filled novel about five Americans who go down to a Central American country to help repair a schoolhouse for a village. The book begins at the point at which the project is complete and they are all set to return to the US. Then disaster strikes without warning – hence the title.
What I particularly enjoyed about this book were the different personalities of the American team – one sympathetic to the revolutionaries, one a spoiled brat, one idealist who thought he could just talk everyone into getting along, one young woman with an almost otherworldly calm, and a terrified teenage boy who had come on the team to get away from his bickering parents. And then there was their Hans Solo, the I-don’t-care-about-anyone-but-myself pilot. Teens and adults alike will enjoy this book.
“It was a church project. Or a church-slash-school project, to be more precise. The villagers here were too poor to buy the wall material themselves, and the local men were too busy working for their daily bread to take time to put the schoolhouse back together. So our church had taken up a collection for the cinder blocks and tools and mortar and so on, and then called for volunteers to come down here for a week or so during the summer break and slap the thing back up so the kids could get some kind of education. Grove High put up posters about the mission too, and Principal Hagen mentioned it during an assembly. In the end, some of us joined up in the name of Christian outreach and some of us came to get the Public Service credits we needed for graduation. Some of us had our own reasons too. Well, I guess all of us had our own reasons, when it comes down to it.”