book review

Book Review: The Girl in the Road

Author: Monica Byrne
Genre: Fiction
Subgenre: Distopian
Page Count: Around 323, but I listed to the audio book (highly recommended!)

To start off with, the Goodreads summary can be found here, so take a minute to look at that. Done? Okay.

This book is about two women who for various reasons, find themselves running from violence on roughly parallel paths, years apart. They are both telling their stories to loved ones who are lost, but while Mariama makes her journey surrounded by people, Meena’s is completed in total solitude. Throughout their journeys, both women slowly spiral deeper and deeper into hallucinations and mental illness. As their separate roads begin to converge, the question becomes, will they find their way out again?

Filled with beautiful poetic imagery, The Girl in the Road pulled me in from the beginning and really bringing the action to life. The story starts with a snake bite, fleeing from the law, and an explosion all within the first chapter or two.

The one thing that I didn’t like about this story was the ending–not that it was bad, or unbearably tragic. Everything was tied up nicely in the epilogue, but the last quarter or so of the book things began to veer left, then careened faster and faster until there was one point where I had to set it aside for a little while. Still, I had to pick it up again within a few hours, because it is a story that demands an ending; it wasn’t a book that would tolerate being abandoned. Rather, it left me staring into space wondering what exactly had just happened, and was I okay with it.

If you are someone looking for diverse books, then this is a great one to pick up. It takes place in Africa and India, and is LGBTQ friendly. It represents a variety of religions, races, sexual orientations, etc. Overall, I would give it a 4/5….But I’m not sure that I’ll ever be able to re-read it. On the other hand though, I’m sure that I would pick up on a lot more of the subtleties of the story if I did, and for that reason it might be worth it.