Chasing the Sun by Natalia Sylvester
Publisher: New Harvest
Published: June 3, 2014
Buy Now: Amazon
Andres suspects his wife has left him—again. Then he learns that the unthinkable has happened: she’s been kidnapped. Too much time and too many secrets have come between Andres and Marabela, but now that she’s gone, he’ll do anything to get her back. Or will he?
As Marabela slips farther away, Andres must decide whether they still have something worth fighting for, and exactly what he’ll give up to bring her home. And unfortunately, the decision isn’t entirely up to him, or up to the private mediator who moves into the family home to negotiate with the terrorists holding Marabela. Andres struggles to maintain the illusion of control while simultaneously scrambling to collect his wife’s ransom, tending to the needs of his two young children, and reconnecting with an old friend who may hold the key to his past and his wife’s future.
Set in Lima, Peru, in a time of civil and political unrest, this evocative page-turner is a perfect marriage of domestic drama and suspense.
I went into this novel thinking it would be pretty much the story of a kidnapping, but what I did not realize is that it would be so much more than that. It's the story of a damaged marriage, a kidnapping just to add to the self doubt and the aftermath of making it home safely.
The marriage is already crumbling and Andreas tries hard to decide if getting his wife, Marabela, back safely will save their marriage. Will all be for nothing? Will they stay together? Will it show her that he still loves her and would do anything to get her back safely?
I didn't realize this book would also deal with what happens when she gets home and the ransom is paid. You get a glimpse at what PTSD is like in someone who suffers through an abduction like this and it keeps you wondering if the issues of the "after" are what will make or break this relationship.
Not only do we get a glimpse of Marabela's life and thoughts after being ransomed, but also a window into the life of another kidnapping victim who fares far worse. Can they ever move past or let go of the horrible things that happened to them?
It's a moving story that kept me on the edge of my seat. The author has a hauntingly beautiful way with words, as seen in this quote:
She turns her back to the mirror and looks over her shoulder. If she hugs herself, she can see ribs protruding through her skin. She taps them like they’re the keys of a piano, her fingers stepping gently over the deep gaps between each bone. She has never felt so small, so shrunken into herself, while at the same time heavy with everything her body has held on to. It tells a story she never wants to hear again.
I think it's a great first book by this debut author and would enjoy reading more of her work.
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About the author:
Natalia Sylvester is a Peruvian-American author who grew up in South Florida, where she received a B.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Miami. A former magazine editor, she now works as a freelance writer in Austin, Texas. Chasing the Sun, partially inspired by family events, is her first novel.