Monday, March 9, 2015

Review: The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne

Publisher: Crown
Pages: 323
Received: Received a copy from the publisher through Netgalley

Release Date: May 20, 2014
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Goodreads Synopsis:

Meena, a young woman living in a futuristic Mumbai, wakes up with five snake bites on her chest. She doesn't know how or why, but she must flee India and return to Ethiopia, the place of her birth. Having long heard about The Trail -- an energy-harvesting bridge that spans the Arabian Sea -- she embarks on foot on this forbidden bridge, with its own subculture and rules. What awaits her in Ethiopia is unclear; she's hoping the journey will illuminate it for her.

Mariama, a girl from a different time, is on a quest of her own. After witnessing her mother's rape, she joins up with a caravan of strangers heading across Saharan Africa. She meets Yemaya, a beautiful and enigmatic woman who becomes her protector and confidante. Yemaya tells Mariama of Ethiopia, where revolution is brewing and life will be better. Mariama hopes against hope that it offers much more than Yemaya ever promised.

As one heads east and the other west, Meena and Mariama's fates will entwine in ways that are profoundly moving and shocking to the core. Vividly imagined and artfully told, written with stunning clarity and deep emotion, The Girl in the Road is a true tour de force.

My Review:

This was a book I was excited to read after hearing about it, it seemed to be something different and a great story dealing with self discovery. The book opens up right away with Meena waking up and not really knowing what happened, she must flee India and return home. As Meena prepares to leave, we switch stories to Mariama, a woman from a different time period on her own quest of self discovery.

For awhile I was confused as to whose story I was following, both of these women were traveling and had a lot of difficulties to get through on their journey. Meena has a very long journey through The Trail, a bridge that is as long as the Arabian Sea, she takes this journey on foot and readers see her struggle through a very treacherous walk. She meets many interesting people along the way that help her along the way and we slowly learn more about Meena's life as she reminisces about her past and what brought her here.

Mariama's story is what really captured my attention, after her mother's rape, Mariama joins a group of travelers and she learns a lot about life from these people. Mariama falls in love with Yemaya, they become very close and Mariama trusts her with everything. Yemaya tells of a revolution that is happening in Ethiopia (where they are headed) and you can tell that she will have a strong affect on Mariama's life even after she is not around. Monica Byrne has penned a story that may stick with you, but I believe you need to give this story the time and really let it sit with you to understand everything that is going on.

Throughout the entire time I was reading this book I was trying to connect the dots and figure out how these two characters relate to each other and how their stories connect. As the book continued on I thought certain things about how the stories would come together, but when it ended, I was still a little surprised. I think there is a lot that readers can learn from both these women about perseverance through tough times. Both stories show that you can't always get by on your own and there is no harm in getting help from people, you see this especially with Meena's storyline.

This is truly a hard book to describe because there is so much that happens and both these women are trying to make a better life for themselves in different ways. Though, the way that Byrne slowly reveals their stories keeps readers interested and wanting to come back to learn more about what brought these girls to their journeys. There are a lot of emotions running through and Monica Byrne knows how to capture that perfectly, you can feel for these girls and you want to become friends and help them through their journeys.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a very interesting story. It always amazes me when writers can put so many layers in a book.

    Kate @ Ex Libris



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