I was disappointed. First, I thought the author, Tana, was a women and the novel would have a more female perspective. Wrong on both counts. I found the entire story very slow going and fast forwarded through about 5 hours of the book. But, there was enough intrigue that I didn't abandon it so that rates at least 2 stars.
I would have given up about a third of the way through if I was reading this book. The narration of the audio version made it possible to stick with it until the end. A fifteen year old boy is shipped off to the Canadian "outback" after his parents commit a crime in the USA.. Much of the first half of the novel deals with the lead up to the crime from the boy's point of view. Once in Canada in the second half, he tells us what happened to him there in the first six months or so in great detail. I found it all rather tedious going. Then the story skips ahead many years for a brief summing up. I have enjoyed other Richard Ford novels but this one, not so much.
This is an intriguing story of two Americans who go to north Africa for adventure and lose everything. It is well narrated and each time I resumed listening, I was retransported into the strangeness of a foreign culture.
Intrigue in an exotic local always appeals to me if well written with interesting characters This novel fulfills these criteria.
Graham Greene might have written a book like this.
I rarely listen to my audiobooks as other than distraction for tedious chores like driving or housework. This story, narrated by a child's voice, was so fascinating and delightful that I listened to most of it at rest giving it my full attention. I have never read a story of long captivity followed by release and adjustment to the world told from a five year old child's point of view. The book was beautifully written, suspenseful at times, and worthy of whatever prizes it has garnered.
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