Missionaries was recommended to me by a close friend from college. She comes from a military family and has always had an on-point bookshelf. Also, coming from a policy and politics background, she reads books that I would typically not put on my to-do list.
The story revolves around the four "main" characters: Abel, Mason, Juan Pablo, and Lisette, jumping around the formative stories of their lives that will ultimately lead them to the climax of the novel: a kidnapping in Columbia.
Here's how the WSJ reviewed the novel, which just about sums up the overarching "what" and "so what":
“Mr. Klay’s bravura novel homes in on the ground-level consequences of American interference in Colombia’s ongoing civil war and tumultuous peace process. But the engrossing local conflict is only part of the book’s revelatory, panoramic portrayal of the remote yet interconnected ways that American-sponsored wars are waged across the globe.”
Such a well written novel. I never full realized just how globalized violence, in particular American-sponsored "Forever War" violence, has become and will continue to be.
One warning: The book is divided into four parts. Part 1 tells Abel's and Lisette's stories. Part 2 tells Juan Pablo's and Mason's stories. Part 3 ties all their stories together. The whiplash of having to meet new characters is real, but following through until the end of the book is worth your while.