I found myself very easily distracted while reading this book at first. It took be three or four tries to get through the first 30 pages or so. I just couldn't figure out what was going on. However, once I got that far into the book, it started to make sense and I started really enjoying it. Even with that, I found that I really had to focus to keep track of the shifts in the story from Gavin's childhood, to what happened on the trail, to what was happening between Emily and Sam.
McWatt's ability to shift so easily and quickly between stories was splendid, a little confusing at times, but still splendid. Just when I got into Emily's story, McWatt would change gears and head into a section about Gavin or Marcus, but not before foreshadowing what was to come with a little piece of the puzzle. All of this really added to the suspense of the book. I was on the edge of my seat until the very last page. I found myself thinking about the book long after I finished the last page.
McWatt's writing is just beautiful. One of my favourite quotes comes quite early in the book. From page 18:
April stirs people, with its particular tilt of the earth, the ribbon-like quality of light. It brings the season of thaw, of rebirth, of pilgrimage.
Sam's work in virology inspired Emily to study up on his work. The information in the book about bacteria and viruses was fascinating. I loved how the author eventually ties it all in with the story that Emily is writing. Equally fascinating was the scenes leading up to the running of the bulls in Pamplona. I had no idea that the bulls were treated so poorly. Some traditions just are not worth repeating.
Even though I had a little trouble getting into this one, I'd love to read another book by this author.
I'd like to thank those nice people at Edwards Magazine Bookclub and HarperCollins Canada for this review copy.
This review is also available on Edwards Magazine Book Club website.
For more information about this book or to Browse Inside, please visit the HarperCollins Canada website.