Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Allure of Deceit-Susan Froetschel

Allure of Deceit
Susan Froetschel
Prometheus/Seventh Street Books, Feb 3 2015, $15.95
ISBN: 9781616140175

On their honeymoon in India, Photizonet CEO Michael and his pregnant wife Rose Sendry die in a terrorist attack.  The affluent Michael’s will established the GlobalConnect foundation headed by his grieving mom Lydia.  She feels out of her Michigan element hosting fundraising events in Manhattan as the face of the foundation whose annual goal is to distribute $400 million to no more than fifty charities that focus on developing nations.  Instead Lydia lives to learn why her son was the target.

Pearl Hanson heads a small rural Texas-based organization that runs an orphanage and natural family planning programs.  She requests a grant to deploy her programs to Laashekoh, Afghanistan where GlobalConnect development director Paul Reichart performed miracles.  In the small Afghan farm community, village leader Parsaa struggles with what to do about a family whose matriarch committed filicide ostracizing the innocent other young female members.  However, now he also has to deal with some know-it all “Tex-is” females who just want to help while he and the other villagers just want to help them go home.

With more examples than just the second paragraph above, Allure of Deceit is a powerful exposé of the Ugly American believing in the divine right of exceptionalism and other equally as arrogant western intruders insisting they know what is best for a culture no one tries to understand.  Instead all that money floating around leads to cutthroat competition, greed and intrusive poor decisions that create a cesspool outcome.  The discerning storyline starts leisurely yet gripping as Susan Froetschel introduces her readers to the underbelly of charities working in poor nations, but also accelerates when Americans go missing where they are not wanted.

Harriet Klausner

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