Like its predecessor, this book was really nice. The author has a pleasant writing style, the setting in Burma seems picturesque and the stories he tells within the novel pull at your heartstrings.
That being said, this book had a lot of holes in it…it felt unfinished. It’s one thing to leave an obvious open ending to foreshadow another sequel (although how long is Jan-Philipp Sendker going to stretch out the original story, for goodness sake?!), but it’s another to leave so many loose threads throughout the story.
I wish the author would have left out the characters from his 1st book. I feel like Julia was just a vessel for the real storyline which was unnecessary and U Ba’s plot was superfluous.
It was really, really slow in the 1st half. So much so that I almost put it down. I couldn’t stand Julia. She just seemed like a self-absorbed martyr with no real relationships.
What’s up with this fantastical element to the storyline of the sudden appearance of “The Voice” in Julia’s head? The one that leads her back to Burma, where coincidentally, her brother that she hasn’t visited in 10 yrs lives?
***SPOILER ALERT*** Do not read further if you haven’t finished the book or mean to read this book.
What the heck happened to the VOICE? She just magically disappears when Julia finds Thar Thar? First Julia is told that the voice will rest when she finds out where the voice’s son is buried. So, Julia finds out that the son, Thar Thar, is alive, but the voice continues to plague her. Then when she finally meets him the voice is gone. Nothing ever again in the book about the voice. What??
And what about Thar Thar’s reaction to Julia’s story about his mother being inside her? There is none. How is that even possible? I would freak! And how could he possibly ignore the fact that his mother is inside her when he sleeps with her? Yuck!
What happens to the threat of the black boots? Supposedly Julia wasn’t safe from them either…never heard about them again.
And then Julia’s brother U Ba. He’s coughing his brains out and seemingly on his deathbed throughout the book. Yet at the end of the story, he gets a little back rub with some potion and he’s fine?
Lastly, doesn’t it work out a bit too perfectly that Julia will just uproot her life, shirk all her responsibilities (which is completely out of character), discard her career, friend, apartment, etc for a pipe dream?
Well…sorry to say that it’s not going to be me who reads the follow-up about what happens next…