Sisters of Mokama: The Pioneering Women Who Brought Hope and Healing to India

Viking. Apr. 2022. 384p. ISBN 9780525522355. $28. BIOG
At the end of World War II, a small group of nuns from the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth traveled from Kentucky to Mokama, India, to establish a hospital. Thottam (New York Times senior opinion editor) recounts the story of the nuns and their nursing students through the lens of the unrest following the partition of India and Pakistan. Mokama, a very small rail town in rural India, lacked electricity and running water when the hospital was founded and was a huge culture shock to the nuns. Additionally, lack of funding, political unrest, and a shortage of medical personnel in India hindered efforts. Thottam explores the lives of the six nuns who founded the hospital and their motivations to leave their lives and families in the United States. She touches on the lives of several Indian women who became nursing students, including her mother. Thottam also places the narrative in the context of life in India in a time of great change.
VERDICT A heartfelt account of service and change. Recommended for readers interested in Catholic or Indian history.
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