A New Day Dawns

Non-Fiction - Travel
192 Pages
Reviewed on 10/25/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite

A New Day Dawns by Terry Lister is a non-fiction travelogue that follows its author as he explores countries in West Africa, making this the second volume in his Travels With Terry series. The book begins with an introduction to Terry for those of us who are just meeting him for the first time, followed by eight chapters of travel content that covers his time in the coastal countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte d'Ivoire, and Ghana. Lister provides historical and cultural backstory to each place he visits and commingles the narrative with photographs and his own personal journey. These range in tone and tenor from the small, such as a three-hour wait for a mediocre dinner in Sierra Leone, to a slave castle and the infamous Door of No Return in Ghana.

Terry Lister is the guy that everybody wants to be friends with. He's well-traveled, articulate, and makes you feel like you've known him for years a few pages in after cracking open his book. A New Day Dawns is written simply and conversationally, in a way that connects his work to his organic experiences. Some of the photographs are blurry and faded and, frankly, really add to the charm of an already enjoyable experience. Sure, there are fancier travel books out there, but what sets Lister apart is the authenticity of his text. This is a man on a journey that transcends travel for the sake of travel.

This is an immersive experiment that is relayed to readers who, like Lister, want to dig below any and all superficial surfaces. In the small details, Lister shines, like the recounting of a journey from Monrovia to Zwedru that was supposed to take eight hours but eclipses 25. To this end, he states naturally, "This is Africa!" Thank you, Terry, for taking us along! Very highly recommended.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

J.R.R. Tolkien wrote, “Not all those who wander are lost….” Profound words to consider, especially for someone like Terry Lister, who’s fascinated with exploring the world, particularly West Africa. Wandering through war-torn, impoverished countries and entering wild, untamed landscapes, this adventurer has a single goal: to “bring greater understanding and appreciation for the people I meet and see in the places visited.” This travel author isn’t looking for the pristine, posh vacation spots that dot the planet; he’s exploring places like Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, and Ghana, western African countries that have seen more than their share of turmoil over the years, places unpopulated by hordes of tourists despite the many beautiful settings and fascinating history each country has to share. He’s intent on going beyond the safety net of the usual tourist traps.

A New Day Dawns is the second installment in his Travels With Terry Series. The author mixes with the people he visits and gets to know what it means to live where they do. He chooses the unexpected locales to heighten his adventure, from remote, charmingly beautiful beaches and busy marketplaces to thick forests and, yes, castles and forts from the long bygone colonial era. Terry Lister is a gifted storyteller who makes every adventure unforgettable. His travelogue is an engaging read. The author shares his knowledge of local history as he brings together a fascinating tale of unexpected adventure.

Natalie Soine

A New Day Dawns by Terry Lister takes readers on a historical tour of West Africa, including Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, and Ghana. We are introduced to forests, castles, markets, beaches, and much more with vivid descriptions and various interesting photos. Terry explains how Sierra Leone and Liberia have managed to recover from recent civil wars and describes the famous cotton tree and national museum. Deforestation is a huge problem as trees are used to build houses, leading to environmental damage from which the country will never recover. A chimpanzee sanctuary opened in 1995 houses almost 100 chimps. In addition, there are churches, diamond mines, and extraction sites to learn about. These countries are still suffering the consequences of the slave trade from a few hundred years ago. Sierra Leone was struck by an Ebola outbreak which brought death to the country for thousands of people. Since then, facilities have improved.

With humor and adventure, Terry takes us on the path less traveled along the African coast. Terry shares information on how to travel around, which towns to visit, and where to stay. There is a useful index and map in the book and a variety of photos that help readers visualize the various areas. All the information is thoroughly researched and presented clearly, with important travel information unavailable elsewhere. Terry gives advice on interacting with the various cultures and village inhabitants, taxi drivers, etc. There is also vital information on what foods to eat and how to avoid contracting malaria. A New Day Dawns is a must-read for any person interested in traveling through Africa.