The Reddening Path by Amanda Hale
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I was walking from the University bathroom back to my study carol when this book and another by the same author, Amanda Hale, caught my eye. After reading the back and flipping through the book, I decided this would be a nice diversion from the non-fiction, travel, walking books that I have been reading for several years now.
Hale intricately creates a narrative that includes 2 separate stories, then 3, then 4, and as a grande finale, links all the stories and characters together. The breadth of the stories, which range from the 1500's to the 1960's and the 2000's, leaves the reader sleepless, turning pages, wondering what will happen to this list of unique characters. The stories are set in Guatemala, Toronto, and the Kingdom of Spain shortly after its creation in the late 1400's and into the early 1500's. Characters from South America's colonial past inspire a young Guatemalan-Canadian, Pamela, to trace her roots and briefly leave her two loving mothers, Hannah and Fern, in Toronto, in order to find her biological mother back in a country which she left after her international adoption. She travels in body and finds friends, old acquaintances and adventure, but also travels back in time in her mind as she prepares a paper and completes research in order to understand her country of birth. Her travels take her to meet some interesting people, but her plans take a divergent turn when she attempts to impose her Canadian upbringing on a set of people and in a country that has survived generations of war, torture, and trauma. Pamela has a wishful, hopeful spirit and teaches the reader that taking chances may provide you with different answers than the ones you had been looking for. Great read!
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