The Foreign Service Journal, November 2023

42 NOVEMBER 2023 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL the border between South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Central African Republic. In this work of fiction, Simmons is determined to locate Kony and discover his motives in becoming a killer. Having spent most of his adult life and career in Africa, author Robert Gribbin ably explains the politics and fighting that led to Kony’s rise, capture, and subsequent disappearance as he follows the protagonist on his journey. Ambassador (ret.) Robert Gribbin served in the State Department Foreign Service for 35 years, including postings in 15 African countries and on delegations to the U.N. General Assembly and U.N. Human Rights Commission. He was the U.S. ambassador to Rwanda (1996-1999) and the Central African Republic (1993-1995). Gribbin also wrote The Last Rhino (2020), which takes place in the Congo, and The Serpent of the Nile (2021), an adventure story set in South Sudan. Burying the Pawn Jonathan Kaufman, River Grove Books, 2023, $22.95/paperback, e-book available, 430 pages. Burying the Pawn follows its main characters across time, frequently skipping between decades in Venezuela, Florida, and North Carolina, as it tells the stories of Zeb Ackerman, an adventure tour operator stymied by attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; Black immigrant Kiara Battle, an educational psychologist with anger issues who struggled with learning disorders and racism as a child; and Leo Bello, a Venezuelan-born financier who grew up in poverty but became a success after immigrating to the United States. Zeb’s business has been sabotaged by angry rivals, while Kiara, his elementary school crush, is trying to become a better person and doctor. Leo’s support could help them both, but a partnership between the three seems unlikely, as both Zeb and Kiara have reason to dislike him—Leo publicly humiliated Zeb and rejected Kiara’s romantic overtures. The author’s first novel, Burying the Pawn shines a compelling light on the challenges of individuals with learning differences. Proceeds from the book benefit Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities and the University of North Carolina Learning Center. Jonathan Kaufman, whose father, Robert, was a Foreign Service officer from 1959 to 1980, grew up in Washington, D.C., Paris, Brussels, and London. He holds a B.A. and an MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Mobility Lydia Kiesling, Crooked Media Reads, 2023, $28.00/hardcover, e-book available, 368 pages. In her second novel, author and former Foreign Service kid Lydia Kiesling tells the story of Bunny Glenn, an American teen who, at the start of the novel, is living in Azerbaijan with her FS family. Her father’s job exposes her to some of the behind-the-scenes machinations of the oil and gas business in the time leading up to the global war on terrorism. Bunny grows up and accidentally, apathetically, finds her own career in the oil industry, where she struggles with the ethics of her work. Traveling across the globe, she matures and struggles to find purpose in her adult life. Scenes dealing with divorce in the Foreign Service and its effects on the left-behind spouse are particularly poignant. Lydia Kiesling is the daughter of former Foreign Service Officer John Brady Kiesling, who resigned from the Service in 2003 because of his opposition to the war in Iraq. As a child, she was posted with her family to Tel Aviv, Casablanca, Yerevan, and Athens. Kiesling’s first novel, The Golden State, was named one of NPR’s best books of 2018. The Portland, Oregon–based writer has a degree from Hamilton College. The Pomegranate Peace Rashmee Roshan Lall, Quercus, 2022, $3.99/e-book, 320 pages. The Pomegranate Peace takes place on the U.S. embassy compound in Kabul shortly after the embassy is attacked in September 2011. The protagonist feels as though she is trapped in a prison, unable to leave the compound for security reasons. When her Afghan colleague, Najim, begins sharing food from home, she finally begins to feel as though she is experiencing Afghanistan. And as she becomes familiar with American programs and actions, she begins to see U.S. efforts to stabilize the country as absurd. The new edition of this wry account of the U.S. engagement in Afghanistan, and the first in print, was released recently in India in paperback and is available in the U.S. as an e-book. Rashmee Roshan Lall is a journalist and the spouse of retired Foreign Service Officer Michael Macy. She began her career with The Times of India in Delhi and later moved into