Donated Book - Now available at Samuels Public Library

Front Royal Women's Resource Center and Royal Oak Bookshop co-sponsor donations to Samuels Public Library that are by or about women. Nan Hathaway, Book Donation Sponsor & Coordinator, chooses our books each year. Thank you Nan!

We highlight one of these books every third week each month. Our 2020 Book Reviews and Commentaries are provided by JoEllen McNeal. Thank you JoEllen!

The Girl From Katmandu: Twelve Dead Men and a Woman’s Quest for Justice
By Cam Simpson

“I swear that I will do everything in my power to try to bring justice to you.”
- Kamala Magar
In August 2004, twelve men left their village in Nepal for jobs at a five-star luxury hotel in Amman, Jordan.  They had no idea that they had actually been hired for subcontract work on an American military base in Iraq.  But fate took an even darker turn when the dozen men were kidnapped and murdered by Islamic extremists.  Their gruesome deaths were captured in one of the first graphic execution videos disseminated on the Internet – the largest massacre of contractors during the war.  Compounding the tragedy was the reality that their deaths received little notice.
Why were these men, from a remote country far removed from the war, in Iraq?  How had they gotten there?  Whom were they working for?  Consumed by these questions, award-winning investigative journalist Cam Simpson embarked on a journey to find answers, a decade-long odyssey that would uncover a web of evil spanning the globe – and trigger a chain of events involving one brave young widow, three indefatigable human rights lawyers, and a formidable multinational corporation with deep governmental ties.
A heartrending, page-turning narrative that moves from the Himalayas to the Middle East to Houston, and culminates in an epic court battle, The Girl from Kathmandu is a story of death and life – of the war in Iraq, the execution of the twelve Nepalese, a journalist determined to uncover the truth, and a trio of human rights lawyers dedicated to finding justice.
The very soul of the saga is embodied in one remarkable, young woman, Kamala Magar – a model of strength, hope, bravery, and unbreakable spirit – who found the courage to face the influential men who sent her husband to his death.  Her unforgettable story remind us all of the power we have to make a difference.
Eric Westervelt, an award-winning former Baghdad and Jerusalem Correspondent for NPR News wrote, “Along the way Cam Simpson exposes in vivid detail a lesser-known collateral horror of American’s Iraq debacle: how the government and its contractors , in the name of private war and national security, aided and abetted the grotesque modern chain of slave labor.  It may renew your anger at the Iraq War catastrophe and your hope in the rule of law to hold the powerful accountable.” This book will also renew your faith in clear-eyed, investigative journalism that will go to any lengths to uncover buried truths.
Cam Simpson is a London-based writer and journalist.  He is currently an international investigations editor and writer for Bloomberg Businessweek magazine and Bloomberg News.  He previously worked for the Wall Street Journal, with posts in the Middle East and Washington, and as a Washington-based correspondent for the Chicago Tribune, where he was responsible for covering US foreign policy and investigative projects.  Simpson is the recipient of two George Polk Awards, three awards from the Overseas Press Club of America, and numerous other awards.

2020 September Book Commentary