Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Page Count: 390
Source: Given to by a friend
Publication Date: November 1, 2011
Isabelle's estranged archeologist father dies, leaving her a puzzle. In a box she finds some papers and a mysterious African amulet — but their connection to her remains unclear until she embarks on a trip to Morocco to discover how the amulet came into her father's possession. When the amulet is damaged and Isabelle almost killed in an accident, she fears her curiosity has got the better of her. But Taib, her rescuer, knows the dunes and their peoples, and offers to help uncover the amulet's extraordinary history, involving Tin Hinan — She of the Tents — who made a legendary crossing of the desert, and her beautiful descendant Mariata.
Across years and over hot, shifting sands, tracking the Salt Road, the stories of Isabelle and Taib, Mariata and her lover, become entangled with that of the lost amulet. It is a tale of souls wounded by history and of love blossoming on barren ground.
This was one book that I did not like at all, it came close to being a DNF (but I hate spending time reading something to not finish it). The first chapter intrigued me a little, and I thought there would be a good mystery and maybe some action to the story, but as I read on I felt that the story dragged on with information that I did not think pertained to the story as a whole. I found I could not connect with any of the characters, and felt myself pushing to finish the story, hoping that maybe the ending would make up for it (which it didn't).
The characters seemed a little one dimensional to me and I just couldn't find myself liking anything about them. And then the storyline of the book kept jumping back between Isabelle's story and Mariata's, but at times the one section was so long that I found myself forgetting what last happened in the other person's story. There was one part of the story where Isabelle talks about her childhood, and the information came out of nowhere (nothing led up to that scene). She then talks about a big event in her life, it is mentioned in two pages and never talked about again (and something like this would have a bigger impact on a story).
I found Mariata's story interesting and would have liked to have a little more of that throughout the novel. I found the ending to be disappointing though, kind of like the author just needed to finish the story and that she needed to connect all the characters together. This book just could not keep my attention, I kept drifting away (I think that's the reason I could barely remember what was happening with the two different stories).
Maybe I'll think differently a few years from now....