Oh, how I wanted to love this book.
I just couldn’t, and yet I do.
It’s a confusing book to attempt to review because my feelings on it are so split. It is confusing and fascinating all at once.
The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne is a futuristic novel featuring alternating first-person protagonists, Meena and Mariama. Their experiences are largely parallel, although set in different times. Both are physically and emotionally journeying.
I do want to say that I think the writing itself is beautiful. Byrne’s prose is breathtaking, fresh, and prompts you to read slowly to savor the words. Where this book fell short for me was the stylistic weaving of the two narratives, and the stories themselves. Meena’s story is hard to follow, and just when you feel you are getting a handle on what is happening to her, you are yanked in Mariama’s story (which was more compelling for me).
The book ends up erratic and scattered, all because of these dual stories. Both tales have their merits, but I don’t necessarily feel that the work as a whole was served by combining them. Still, the in-depth examinations of the psychological states of two characters who have had similar experiences is an interesting comparison to make.
I can’t NOT recommend this book, because I absolutely loved the actual writing. Byrne’s style is strong and unique. I truly felt that I was reading something new. But I can’t fully recommend it, either, because I had such difficulty connecting to the characters and staying present in the narrative.
Give it a whirl, I suppose.
**I received this book to review from Blogging for Books**