It turns out that the "magical book fairy" is none other than our friend Pam at Sidewalk Shoes! I didn't even know she had my address, so I never knew I'd won her book giveaway. It was a wonderful time to win, since Ryan was leaving home in August, making it a sad month.
CHASING THE SUN
by Natalia Sylvester
Andres is a successful, self made businessman in Lima, Peru in the 1970s. He and his wife, Mirabel, have a son and daughter, but their marriage is tense. About 4 months ago, Mirabel left Andres, but ultimately she returned. So, after an argument over the phone, Mirabel didn't come home one night. His anxiety became fear the next day, when he received a telephone call stating that she'd been kidnapped, and the ransom was $1,000,000 - a sum Andres didn't even come close to having.
The first half of the book is told entirely from Andres' point of view, while he's working with a hostage negotiator to secure her release. During that time, he recalls for us their recent history, along with remembering when and how they met and married. It all felt really sad, all the more so because during this time he went to visit an old family friend, who had at one time been his girlfriend, who had been kidnapped a couple of years back and was now hospitalized for mental health reasons. It was enough detail for me to get a sense of the entire history of their relationship, and conclude that Andres and Mirabel should never have married.
This was a very moving and sad book. It's also scary to think that this sort of thing could have been a common occurrence in a nearby country like Peru (the author notes that this book is based on an event which actually happened in her family). 4/5