Release Date: September 27th, 2011
Genre: adult Fiction, art contemporary, part historical
Cover: C (Average, nothing special, it was the blurb that made me want to read this one).
Source: NetGalley- I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.
The Lost Book of Mala R. by Rose MacDowell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
In a once-grand Southern California neighborhood, Linda, a New York City transplant, is panicking over the disappearance of her precocious ten-year-old stepdaughter. Christine, who has struggled to get pregnant for years, finds herself expecting a baby—just as her husband is accused of murder. And Audrey, who’s always played it safe because of her family’s history of bad luck, takes a romantic risk and suddenly finds herself facing a disaster of her own.
When an old journal surfaces at a neighbor’s tag sale, the women are inexorably drawn into the life of Mala Rinehart, an itinerant Romany woman who wrote down spells and predictions in a cryptic, slanting hand. As the three women feel the pull from across sixty intervening years, they vow to discover what became of Mala. For through the worn pages, their happiness has intertwined with hers, their futures spelled out in her chants and recipes. And as they unravel the mystery of Mala’s origins, their lives transform in ways they never could have expected.
Short review incoming. I just don't have a lot to say about this book. I can say that it took me a lot longer to read than it should have. For some reason I just kept putting it down because it wasn't holding my interest. And it's really strange, because while the story didn't intrigue me, it wasn't that boring. But it wasn't that interesting either. It's very hard to explain.
The characters were all very similar. They also were entirely unlikable. And I got names confused and situations confused because they really were left extremely undeveloped. So there was a good portion of the story where I was just trying to figure out what was going on because I couldn't remember who was who. This was also an issue because I kept putting the book down and coming back to. And my memory isn't the greatest so it was almost like coming back to the story blind. Every single time. Talk about annoying.
Mala was the only character that I felt had any kind of personality. And to be honest, that may have had a lot to do with the fact that her story was set in a different time than all the other characters. That made it easy to decipher who she was and what was going on with her part of the story.
So yes, there were two different stories that kind of came together and intertwined at the end. One was set in the 1940s and the other was set in present times. I don't know. I'm having a hard time deciding what I liked about this book or what the point of this story even was. What message was it trying to convey? It just didn't feel like the story was going anywhere and it turns out that it really didn't. Not to me anyway.
I guess it may come down to personal preference on this one. I didn't really care for the story or the characters. I found the synopsis very interesting, but the story didn't do anything for me. It wasn't poorly written or anything. On the contrary, I actually really enjoyed the writing style. I would definitely be interested in reading other books by this author in the future. I guess it just wasn't the book for me.
Final note: I think this is one that you should decide on your own if you want to read. If the synopsis sounds interesting, go for it. You might like it.
To order a copy of The Lost Book of Mala R. from Amazon.com, click here: The Lost Book of Mala R.: A Novel