12 Nov 2013


SOURCE: A reader's group read.

Memory Cougan has a successful career and an adoring fiance. But at her engagement party, she panics and flees to an Africa she left as a child, to find out just who and what she is.

For reclusive Max, hardened by years of survival, Memory's coming will awaken long-buried feelings of lost love. For Elise, her adoptive mother, Memory's flight threatens to reveal the truth of what really happened in the African bush twenty years ago. And, for Paul Cougan, whose youthful idealism cost him so much, there will, at last, be recognition for the sacrifice he made.

Moving from Britain to Africa over twenty years, Hotel Juliet tells an unforgettable story of lives and loves played out against the endless skies and wild beauty of the African landscape.

....... Outer back cover.

FIRST SENTENCE (Chapter 1: If You Are Lost): Zambia 1972.
They removed his left leg in the morning.

MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 294): He had even lost a houseboy five years back to witchcraft, a victim of a magic aeroplane filled with evil spirits that had crash-landed near hi hut and killed him.

MY THOUGHTS: Essentially the story of one woman's journey of self discovery, of Memory's need 'to go back to the beginning'. It is also a story of re-awakenings and revelations, of superstition and witchcraft.

Spanning two decades the story flits between Zambia and London (with a slight foray into Scotland) and is told from the point of view of not one, not two, not three but four people. And whilst this didn't make for a confusing read it did make for a frustrating one in that the narrative didn't always flow as easily as it might have otherwise.

Both a hit and miss for me. In places overly long. The chapters set in England I felt bordered on tedious, many of the characters irrelevant. However the chapters set in Zambia had all of the makings of a rather good thriller. If only the author had concentrated on this element of the story.

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Jinky said...

I don't recall reading a book that has so many narrators. Quite a feat that it wasn't confusing but it looks like it suffered in the flow. Setting sounds great though!

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Hm... not sure I would like it. If the POVs don't transition smoothly, it tends to take me out of the book. Brilly review!

Suko said...

Tracy, thanks for sharing your honest thoughts about this book. Not sure if this book would be a hit or miss for me, or both!

Kelly said...

Even the cover on this one has me torn. I'm just not sure if I would like it or not.

Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

This sounds like an interesting read. The description reminds me a bit of Eat, Pray, Love. The fact that there are many narrators is different for this type of story- but I have read books where it worked (Wonder by RJ Palacio comes to mind). Thanks for sharing your review- it was very helpful. :)

Shooting Stars Mag said...

sounds like the book would have been more interesting if it limited its view points and change of location!

Betty Manousos said...

i'm just not sure if i'd like this book or not. thanks for your honest review, tracy.


Brian Joseph said...

Too bad that the book was flawed. I find that sometimes if an author attempts to do too much, or concentrate on too many characters, sometimes it will mar a story. On the other hand, some writers handle this without tripping up.

Lindsay said...

I like books where the main character is on a path to self discovery sometimes, though it sounds like this one was a bit up and down. Sometimes when the story alternates it works, other times it doesn't.

Naida said...

It sounds both good and bad.