Clare is going through emotional torments. Things that she had done twenty-five years ago could destroy her life. She also has to deal with her son's situation. The book ends with the moment when Clare decides to confront her past. She also risks her reputation by defending a suspect.
This novel gives an overview of an embassy work. Every embassy has to be efficient. An embassy is a representation of the government abroad. It provides information to the residents of the country and the expats.
In my life I had several encounters with a few embassies. Their work can provide us with some lessons.
Keeping on top of the newsThe personnel have to know what's going on in the word, especially regarding their country, especially foreign affairs of the country. How many Christians keep up with the news regarding the church around the world?
The work of an embassy depends on the international situation. A government adjusts the embassy work accordingly. Certain news lead to work reassignment and relocation.
Following the protocolsEach embassy has its own protocols regarding every situation. It covers the variety of things. The behavior is according to protocol: speech, writings, communication, work with documents, problem resolving, applications processing, passport renewal, formal language use, inner decor, the country's symbols display (flag and coat of arms). Many embassies have a certain dress code for the visitors. The protocols also regulate the individual level of interaction with other people.
If the embassy person violates the protocol, he or she will suffer serious consequences.
As Christians we should take our protocols/Scriptures seriously. When an embassy official violates the protocol, the government takes it very seriously. Why, we willingly violate Scriptures, misquoting the books, and messing things up?
Don't get attach to the locationEvery few years, the embassy personnel, including diplomats, gets dispatched to a different country. They might be given short notice. They always have to remember that their country of living is not their country. They are there to represent the nation. In some cases diplomats are given the choice but not always. The government may call their employees home at anytime.
As Christians, we often get distracted by this world, we forget that the Lord can call us back at any moment.
Your life doesn't belong to you
Working at the embassy may look great. You get to see all those different countries, have nice functions, and other glamorous elements. However, your life does not belong to you. Most of the things you will have in the residence will not be yours.
You cannot work around your life. You adjust the life around work. You always have to consider how your actions will portray your country. You cannot do certain things.
You have to know the area
You know the laws of a country where your post is. You learn the language beforehand. Some things that are acceptable/permissible in your home country. Your job is not sabotage the government. You are a representative of your own country.
There are certain places where you would not go, because if you will be seen there, it may be bad for your home country. However, there are some zones where you can go without any problem. Embassy officials have to be always on guard whenever outside the embassy.
FamilyIn many cases spouses of the embassy personnel have to sacrifice their careers. An official has to consider the implications of a marriage on the career. In many cases older children are not living with their parents because the country doesn't have sufficient schooling. Sometimes it's too dangerous for the children to live with the parents. Embassy officials cannot travel to their home country whenever they want. They have to limit communication with their families and friends. Their behavior can affect the relationships between countries. Behavior of a family member can affect the work of a diplomat.
RisksEmbassy officials can face many dangerous situations. Sometimes they might become victims of coup d'etat. It doesn't mean that all officials will risk their lives, but it doesn't exclude the possibilities. Scandal in diplomatic milieu has much bigger consequences. An ambassador doesn't represent personal interests, but those are of his country.
"Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God." 2 Corinthians 5:20