Title: The Zigzag Way
Author: Anita Desai
Summary: Unfamiliar land. Eric, a young American historian, has come to Mexico on his first trip abroad. His search for his immigrant family’s roots brings him to a town in the Sierrra Madre, where a hundred years earlier Cornish miners toiled without relief. Here the suspiciously enigmatic Dona Vera, the fierce Austrian widow of a mining baron, has become a local legend, but her reputation for philanthropy glosses over a darker history. A haunting, powerful novel that culminates on the Day of the Dead, The Zigzag Way examines the subtle interplay between past and present.
Anita Desai is the author of many acclaimed works of fiction, including Baumgartner’s Bombay, Clear Light of Day, Diamond Dust, and Fasting, Feasting, among other works. Three of her novels have been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. A professor emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she now lives in New York.
My Rating: 6.25/10
What I liked/disliked about the book: While I enjoyed the cultural look of Mexico and the general idea behind the story, the story didn't work for me, something was missing to bring it all together to make it a fantastic one.
The author did a fantastic job at creating the setting, you were able to taste the food, smell the scents and see the land around you. I was easily able to picture the whole setting in my head. I also thought the story was a good idea - the search for identity, in an ancestral village was a good idea - but they way it was laid out didn't make it very believable for me. I felt the emotion, and the drive was at times lacking and other times forced. The idea behind it was good, but how it was executed didn't work.
The characters were just that. Didn't like or dislike them, they were just pieces of the book for me to help further it along.
Overall, not a bad book, I'd likely read the author again - and for a book that was randomly picked for me for a reading challenge, it worked out better than I thought.
Would I recommend it to read: Undecided - has some good qualities, but not high on the list.
What to read next: I think try to read more books by the author, but other than that I'm not sure.
Challenges: 11 in 11, 100+ Challenge, 2011 Countdown Challenge, A - Z Challenge, Global Reading Challenge, Take a Chance III Challenge