4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Good, but missing something,
This review is from: Black Orchids (Paperback)
I am pleased that I read this book, and I'd recommend it to people who have experienced a bi-racial/cultural marriage or upbringing, simply for the insight into the situations and emotions of those involved.
The start of the novel really drew me in and for a while I was swept along by the intrigue of the events depicted (such as the various reactions to Emil). But taken as a whole the pieces never quite fit. Just when you felt like you were grasping the meaning of the Reymundos' world, the story jumped to several years later and the margins changed.
Emil, clearly the most significant and interesting character of all, felt vague and not fully explored beyond his dedication to his wife; when Evelyn suddenly disappeared from the story there was no-one left to hold the reader's attention. It was hard to believe that the characters would have made the choices they did.
Whilst the format and character development in the second half of the book proved disappointing, this was perhaps deliberate, and to some extent realistic given the isolation and uncertainties of the main character/s. The occasional outburst or revelation which allowed those unspoken feelings to be explored, helped compensate for the lost-ness of the rest of the story.
Overall a fascinating subject, slightly disappointing delivery, but worth a read nonetheless. 3.5 stars