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The river of life has followed an unusual course for Mary Stickney. World traveler, artist and writer, she became familiar with American embassies and diplomatic outposts abroad while the wife of a U.S. Foreign Service agricultural scientist. In "River of Pearls," she recounts adventures and family life in Southeast Asia during the Viet Nam War era. The story begins in exotic Bangkok, Thailand, and continues to Manila, Bataan, Corregidor and remote mountain villages of the Philippines. The journey also travels to Saigon and Danang, South Viet Nam, as the author spent time there as a civilian with her husband, who was working in a pacification program of the U.S. Agency for International Development. After retuning to America, she found herself suddenly alone, went back to college and shaped a new life and a new career for herself. Writing from her journals with a personal, colorful style, she illuminates the wonders, excitement, the sorrows and the surprising joys of exploring far corners of the globe with an open heart and mind. "River of Pearls" is her second book, following "Jungle Paths and Palace Treasures" (2001). "The danger and romance of the lands comes alive in the book." --"The Florida Times-Union" ..".the adventure of a lifetime, told here in lively, highly readable detail. This book will appeal to a wide audience, both young and old, travel-buffs and armchair globetrotters." --"Foreign Service Journal"