Monday, 23 June 2014
The Atlas of Us - Tracy Buchanan
From the Publishers introduction
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.
The atlas of us is a detailed and rather complex romantic mystery told from 2 points of view. It's the story of 2 different women both at the crux of the break up of a relationship.
Louise has travelled to Thailand to search for her estranged Mother, missing following the boxing day tsunami. She soon comes into possession of a travel journal the eponymous "Atlas of Us" believed to have been in her Mothers bag at the time she went missing, but the book belongs to a stranger - Claire and just as I was getting interested in Louise and her story we are transported back a few years into Claires life and her story begins to unfold, its essentially a romance with lots of twists.
It looks at the things we will do for someone we love, and how we can go on loving someone even when we think they may not be good for us.
Louises search for her missing Mum eventually intertwines with Claires story and the 2 are closely woven. It didn't help that I kept getting them both mixed up in my mind's eye!
We end up being taken to lots of different places around the world and it's clear from the descriptions that this author is well travelled herself. There are a lot of characters and even the minor players are given quite a big part in the story.
It keeps you coming back for more and wanting to know how it ends, especially as Louise search plays out through the book. There are lots of secrets which are revealed in stages but there is one real biggie, I didn't have an inkling about and was a real shock.
The only thing preventing me rating this book a 5/5 is it's a little over complicated and for me just a touch too long, there are places where a little less rambling detail might have been more apt and places where I began thinking "just GET ON with the story!"
Despite this it's a very enjoyable and accomplished dual narrative story with lots of romance, mysteries and family dramas galore.
My thanks to Netgalley and Harper Collins for providing me with an advance ebook copy to read and review.