I first fell in love with Mariane Pearl’s writing when I read her memoir: A Mighty Heart where she chronicles the events leading up to her husband’s murder in the Middle East. It was devastating. Tragic, really. Yet, her voice sang from the pages even while sharing the most intimate moments associated with a murder that was so incredibly public.
So, to no surprise, when I came across In Search of Hope: The Global Diaries of Mariane Pearl, I was thrilled. Pearl, a journalist for Glamour Magazine, took on the world – visiting twelve different countries. She was escorted through these countries by powerful women that are all on missions to bring positivity, safety, and change to countries that are broken.
Pearl visits with courageous women who share the most private details of their work – and passion. She learns about a Cambodian sex slave’s liberation; Liberia’s presidency from the perspective of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (2006); an AIDs orphan turned healer in Uganda; a New Yorker who leads children needing guidance; how justice is getting a voice in Mexico…and so much more.
As you read these short stories full with dynamite photographs, writing that is powerful, and experiences that shed light on women fighting through the injustices associated with their countries, culture, and neighborhoods; you can’t help but to feel as though you are on a year long excursion around the world – one that authentically changes your core as a human being.
Students love this piece. They are awed by the bravery of these women; Mariane for exposing truths that do not get adequate recognition and the women who are willing to risk their own safety in order to save others. For every reader, Pearl puts life into perspective.
The richness found within these pages comforts you. It makes you believe that anything truly is possible. Well, because it is. It provides students access to beautiful moments experienced within other cultures and propels them to reflect on their own morals and values – what are they really willing to fight for?
In Search of Hope is a piece that leaves you feeling compelled to explore. Travel. Find your own truth. And when you do, write about it.