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Showing 1-10 of 47 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 124 reviews
on August 6, 2014
I really enjoyed the way the two stories were intertwined. I thought at the beginning that we would see what brought the two stories together. I was not disappointed and did enjoy the way the story ended. I would love a sequel to this one to see how it all turns out for Tayeb and Freida. I know we are given a glimpse to make us feel good.
The author says part of this book was written long ago - wish I knew which part!
Well worth your time to read it.
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VINE VOICEon July 8, 2012
It starts out in 1923 with Evangeline English and her sister arriving in Kashgar an ancient city on the old Silk Road on a missionary mission. They are being led by a militant, hard-core, hard-to-like woman named Millicent, who Eva's younger sister Lizzie is devoted to. Eva is not really that religious and just goes along to keep an eye on her younger sister and to write a book about her travels.

Alternating chapters of this book are set in present day London. The protagonist of this part of the book is Freida who meets a stranger in her stairway and changes her life. Right after meeting this stranger she is contacted about having been left a flat full of things from a woman named Irene Guy who listed Frieda as her next of kin. Frieda has never heard of this woman before and is bewildered as to why she has been left this woman's things.

In Eva's section of the book they are constantly in danger of being killed and in fact Millicent is arrested for allegedly killing a young local girl. Actually Millicent only helped the young girl deliver a baby and she just happened to die during childbirth but the locals are very superstitious and believe the Christians brought demons in and took the young girl's life. From that point on their lives are constantly in danger.

In Frieda's section of the book, we learn early on that her mother abandoned her at an early age and she is still trying to cope with that. She was raised by hippies; therefore, she has become somewhat conservative in her life. She is not really happy in her job or her life.

It was a wonderful and exciting book to read and I highly recommend it.
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on June 19, 2012
Home sick from work and spent the day reading this book. I found the story from 1923 infinitely more compelling than the present day story and the rapid switches back and forth jarring. I would have liked to spend more time in each environment and time before jumping back to the other. Though I appreciated the political themes and perspectives woven through the narrative of Frieda and Tayeb, both of them seemed more like archetypes than complex, fully realized characaters. The supporting characters in Frieda's narrative--her lover and parents--were virtual parodies. I could almost visualize the author sneering as she wrote them.

In contrast, the saga of the three women's journey to Kashgar in 1923 and Eva's journey beyond was thoroughly engaging, with a vivid sense of place and culture of the period. Overall, I appreciate a writer who addresses the theme of colonialism in an intelligent and accessible way.
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on September 18, 2014
Joinson,the author, researched extensively for these travels throughout exotic locations, under hardship conditions in the mid 1920s. The mix of cultures, political clashes and physical challenges of travel in a hostile climate make the narrator, Eva, seem intrepid. Why would one undertake such travel, seeking what? Within the narrative is a present day story of a modern traveler, Frieda, who is a foreign correspondent observing Islamic issues in Asia. Eventually, the two narrators' journeys are interwoven. The narrators' journeys are about self discovery. Travel reveals the real self. A good read and vicarious adventure for the armchair tourist.
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on May 22, 2015
At first the flipping between two time periods is disorienting, but then so is travel to distant places with vastly different cultures. The author has great powers of description so much so that you can feel the heat and the sand storms. It's difficult to tell the story of this book without divulging too much. So I will only say that it is the story of several young women who grow from sheltered children to women of the world and then to women with purpose. It isn't an easy transition but well told. Wholeheartedly recommend reading this.
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on July 13, 2012
What a lovely, well written novel! Two stories that sew time together, and leaves you considering if time exists at all. Look for the subtle clues and analogies as you jump back and forth between the two stories. It won't make you guess the ending, but it will make your reading experience that much richer as you'll come to appreciate the author's story telling skills. The story is dreamy, yet the characters are well developed...real...flawed like all of us. The story also explores several controversial subjects without conclusive judgements pushed onto the reader. It simply allows the reader to consider the layers of suffering, politics, and bias that come unwound when faced with difficult situations.
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on October 18, 2013
This is a story of generations with alternating chapters in past and today. For many chapters, there is the suspense of how the characters in each time are related to each other. The story of the past is not really believable; some of the characters are overdone and the situations contrived and often unlikely. The Lady Cyclist Guide is a gimmick that is associated with the story of the past that doesn't really work. The people in the present are hard to care about and seem to make random choices. I would not recommend it.
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on June 5, 2017
I really enjoyed reading this book, and recommended it to my book review club. It kept me up at night to finish it!
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on October 14, 2013
Three women, a starry-eyed but wounded seeker, her mentor, and a loving but doubt-filled sister, travel to the edge of the world on a missionary trip. In a shocking turn of events, they meet their fourth group member, a newborn baby, in the first chapter. Over twenty years and two generations, their lives are transformed through love, trauma, tragedy, and trial. Anyone who enjoys ethical dilemmas, questions of faith, complex relationships, or great storytelling may love this book, too.
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on October 16, 2012
I chose this book for my book club.
I thought it started out quite well but after the first few chapters I just found it a bit distasteful. The idea for the book was quite novel but it didn't deliver. The characters were unbelievable and there were too many ends left at the close of the book.
It received a bad review from all six of the book club group.
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