Monday 3 November 2014

Review: The Atlas of Us by Tracy Buchanan

How far would you go for the one you love the most?

When Louise Fenton flies to Thailand to find her mother, Nora, after the Boxing Day tsunami, she fears the worst when the only trace she can find is her mother’s distinctive bag. In the bag is a beautifully crafted atlas owned by travel journalist Claire Shreve, with her notes and mementos slipped in-between the pages. The journal tells the story of Claire’s struggle to find her place in the world following a life-altering revelation, and a tumultuous love affair.

Louise treks across Thailand's scarred landscape, exploring Claire’s atlas to try to make sense of the connection between this woman and the mother she is so desperate to find.

As devastated people are beginning to put their lives back together, Louise uncovers the secrets that nearly destroyed Claire and the man she loved – the same secrets her mother has been guarding all these years …

THE ATLAS OF US will take you on a moving and enthralling journey across the globe, and into the most intimate spaces in a relationship. And it will find its way into your heart.

Review: I have to be honest- I really didn't enjoy this book very much. I had high hopes for it, but they were really not met. I thought the premise behind the book, a bit of a mystery surrounding family in the wake of the tsunami, sounded really promising, space for drama and intrigue as well as a hint of sadness and there was bound to be a love story in there somewhere right? I was just really disappointed by the storyline as a whole. I found myself switching off in parts and struggle to remember every detail of the entire book now because it really hasn't stuck with me (and I've literally just finished reading it!) I think for me, the potential was there for a lot to happen and nothing much really happened. 

I thought the structure of the book was excellent, stories running alongside each other but during different times, knowing that the two stories would tie up at some point and the mystery would be revealed. The stories didn't tie up until the very last moment and I didn't really attach myself to either story. I think that Clare's story kept me more interested than Louise's story. There was definitely more drama there and more things happened, but i thought that perhaps they were happening just for the sake of it and sometimes things didn't really contribute to the plot at all. I'd didn't get Louise's character at all and so I think that's why I didn't like her story as much. 

The characters in Clare's story had a lot about them, they all had hidden pasts and secrets they were keeping from one another despite promising not to, however, although I was drawn to these characters, I didn't feel connected to their stories. I felt Louise was pretty flat as a character and I don't really understand where the other characters in her storyline came from or how they fitted in. 

I did read this book in its entity, persevering until the end to see if anything grabbed me but it really didn't and I really have struggled to find something interesting to say about it. There are exotic settings but the description didn't particularly whisk me away there. There are interesting characters, but I dint really feel any connection with them and there are interesting story lines, but they didn't really tie together for me so overall I didn't really enjoy this book or get what I was expecting from it. It won't put me off picking up other books from this author in the future though, but this just wasn't for me. 

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