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Review of True East
September 29, 2017
“The text. . . was written wonderfully” — Blogger in New Hampshire
Katy Givens, thirty and brilliant, learns in a static-filled phone call that her husband Andrew is missing in the Amazon and possibly dead. Although still mourning the death of their infant son, Katy flies to Brazil in search of Andrew, discovering that the man she married has secrets. As the mysteries surrounding Andrew’s disappearance mount, so does the list of shadowy forces benefitting from the recent discovery of oil in the Amazon. Katy’s field of genetic anthropology proves useful when accounts of the Unnamed Ones, a primitive and possibly pre-human tribe, are rumored to exist in the same valley as the oil reserves. Katy tracks Andrew through the jungle, deciphering riddles he left before disappearing. Along the way, she barters with a Jewish coin merchant, challenges chance with a fortune teller, and argues the merits of prayer with a Jesuit priest, before finally placing her faith with the indigenous Tadi.
I received a free copy of this book for a honest review, thanks to the author for providing this.
Thanks for checking out my blog today for the blog tour for True East. This not a book I would typically read but I was glad I agreed to read it. True East covers a wide range of topics from big oil, Indigenous people in Brazil, the Amazon, corruption, greed and much more. After a scattered, disjointed phone call Katy Givens is certain her missing photographer husband is in the Amazon so she heads to Brazil. Katy is a genetic anthropologist and is highly intelligent. She can can speak numerous languages and is able to adapt quickly to various situations that she finds herself in on her journey. The majority of the book takes places in Rio during Carnival. Katy encounters priests, CIA, tarot card readers, jugglers, scientists, coin merchants, politicians, Texas oil men as well as others. The question is - which of these people is telling her the truth and who is just trying to get to her husband through her. Some of the book is based on scientific fact and some of it is mythical. I am a reader that likes fact so the mythical parts weren't something I enjoyed in the book. I definitely was connected to some parts of the book but not others. The last section focuses more on the mythical as Katy goes into the jungle in search of Andrew and to see if the tribe called the Unnamed Ones actually exists. I was definitely not as connected to this part of the book and at this point the story just started to seem too long. The book is nearly 400 pages. The author has written a great story. It obviously has been well researched. The book at times feels scattered as it encompasses so many issues and such a large cast of characters. I did not enjoy the ending as I had hoped for more but I think that is just because of the type of book I prefer. I think to fully enjoy this book you really need to be a certain type of reader.
Raymond Ahrens is curious. As a scientist, father, and novelist, he peers under the surface to discover what contradictions lie beneath. His genre of “mythic-realism” synthesizes both the rational and the mythic to arrive at a different way of seeing. His first novel, Drive, explores an old man’s perspective in both a real and imagined world filled with mysteries, myths, and memories. He lives in Newton, MA and Naples, FL.