Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Disappearance of Irene Dos Santos by Margaret Mascarenhas

Fifteen years ago troubled teenager Irene Dos Santos went missing in the lush Venezuelan rain forest. Her best friend, Lily, was found nearby, semiconscious, with no memory of what had happened. Now, years later, as she prepares to give birth to her first child, Lily has a vision of Irene. Whether it's a memory, a dream, or a ghost Lily can't be sure, but she is finally ready to uncover the truth about what happened that fateful day.

But before the quest can begin, Lily slips and falls. Confined to her bed, she is surrounded by her family and closest friends, and each offers prayers and a personal story to guide the baby's spirit safely into the world. What emerges over the next nine nights is a vivid portrait of Venezuela during a time of revolution and uncertainty - and the unraveling of the mystery behind Irene Dos Santos.

The above is the synopsis on the back of the book. Lily never has a vision of Irene, she finds a letter she had written to her when they were teenagers. It does offer a vivid portrait of Venezuela, if you can keep up with all the different characters that come into play and remember all of them throughout. There is no unraveling the mystery of Irene, and as to Lily being found nearby when Irene goes missing, semiconscious, is in fact that she is found in a hammock half asleep.

I read this in one day and kept hoping for a big revelation but this was a complete let down. Once you find out about Irene at the end and find out the truth about the rest of the characters I felt immensely cheated.

1 star

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Either you didn't read the first paragraph of this book which describes a vision of Irene in a dream or you read a different book from the one I read. As for the revelation you were so eagerly awaiting to be spoonfed, apparently you also skimmed past the entire kidnapping incident, not to mention the implied discourse throughout this novel on the blurry lines between magic and illusion, dreams and reality,fact and fiction,coincidence and synchronicity, revolution and terrorism, sanity and madness. Perhaps you cheated on yourself. I recommend reading it again, with more attention to detail.