Molly Benson is a wealthy philanthropist living and running her humanitarian aid organization, Forward Foundation out of Princeton, NJ. Her husband Paul is currently in Japan making a small budget film. Molly is haunted by the ghosts of two men in her life; her brother Harry, a news journalist murdered in El Salvador and Graham Greene. Both affect her actions and conscience. She has a very strong affection for the late British author Graham Greene, whom she met once. She champions causes for the needy and oppressed wherever she feels she can be of assistance. Also, she performs acts of covert political mischief, believing Greene would approve of her methods and motives. Her brother Harry was shot after he was implicated in lending aide to rebel forces for hospitals and medical supplies. It was Harry who had arranged to turn her money over to an informer in El Salvador.
Along with her best friend, a New Yorker named Bertie Einhorn, and Toby Plunkett a British gentleman who teaches English at Princeton, she has decided to fly the three of them to Algeria to lend aide to oppressed journalists and authors who are at risk to the growing fundamentalist movement. The more the ladies become acquainted with the gregarious, verbose, and corpulent gentleman accompanying them, the more they believe it was a mistake to include him on their mission of mercy. They arrive in Algiers at the home of Eugene and Lucien who have taken a vow of poverty in keeping with the beliefs of their Jesuit order. Molly throws caution to the wind when she attempts to intervene on the behalf of two Arabs being brought into police custody. Ahmed Hocine, their taxi driver comes to her assistance but warns her she must act more civilly under such circumstances in the future.
Molly gives away her money with the belief it is going to the right people but cannot be certain that is true. The situation in Algiers is deteriorating with each passing day. The three travelers are attacked in the Casbah escaping with a broken arm and numerous cuts and bruises only to later learn one of the boys is the young brother of their trusted driver. On the day of their departure, a French woman beseeches Toby, one last time, for them to take her back to France. They leave without her. Back home Toby's arm heals after surgery, Molly's wayward husband returns from Japan and they move out of their old apartment. Molly is disheartened by her perceived failure to lessen the strife in Algeria but takes solace in her old correspondence with Greene.
This report prepared by David Fletcher