Title: The Girl In The Road
Author: Monica Byrne
Publication Date: May 20th, 2014
Genre: Science Fiction, Adult
Rating: Three stars
Summary: 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.
book may be a struggle for some, it's very surrealistic and dark at
times, and much of it is spent in the head of its two protagonists,
leading us through a winding tale.
The writing is lush and very
descriptive, set against a backdrop of India and Ethiopia, in a time
where gender is fluid and people are much freer with their sexuality
than they are now, the story contrasting technology with sex and
struggle and life and death.
I had a hard time with this book in
ways, I skimmed some of it. It winds together the stories of Meena, a
girl who awakens with snakebites, and Mariama, a young girl in Africa.
Of course the foregone conclusion is that their stories will intersect,
but how that happens is the interesting part.
Along with the
eerie, almost fairy-tale style of the book at times, the author also
draws the reader in with the vivid depiction of the characters we meet.
The smallest detail is seen to, and the characters come to life, myriad
This book is much darker than I had expected,
more than I had really prepared myself for, and a bit of a mindtwist as
you get to the end. I think I'll need to reread it to truly grasp
everything that had gone on here, but I think that people who want an
interesting, winding story that they can really sink their teeth into
will enjoy this. There's a lot to be absorbed and considered, but I
think Meena and Mariama's story is interesting enough to delve into.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in return for an honest review.