Wednesday, June 11, 2014

G309 Book Review of Chasing the Sun by Natalia Sylvester

Name of Book: Chasing the Sun

Author: Natalia Sylvester

ISBN: 978-9-544-26217-1

Publisher: New Harvest

Type of book: kidnapping, Lima, South America, Peru, 1992, the other side, ransom, phone calls, cat-and-mouse game, lies, deceit, trickery, psychology, relationships, family bonds

Year it was published: 2014


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.


The main characters include Andres, Marabela and Elena. I will start with Andres. Andres is a wealthy and self-made, I think, businessman who owns a newspaper. He went against his family's desires and now has to pay for these consequences. He is very loyal to Marabela and does his best to help her as well as keep control when it comes to their children. He is not afraid of making sacrifices to get Marabela back. Marabela is Andres' wife and she kind of strikes me as a femme fatale character. She isn't wealthy and seems to be a very generous and giving soul, although I think she was beginning to chafe and resent being married to Andres. Elena is Andres' childhood friend as well as Marabela's former friend. She is self sacrificing and is trying to get back into reality. Since childhood, Andres's parents had high hopes that Andres should marry Elena.


There are no black and white answers


The book is written in third person narrative mainly from Andres's point of view, although towards the end there is also Marabela. Contrary to the plot, the book is more psychological and it dares to test out Andres' and Marabela's relationship with one another, and whether or not it can withstand the tragedy. The book also delves into what happens after someone is released and what they are going through. I really enjoyed going through Andres' mind and seeing what was happening while his wife was kidnapped. Although the story is not fleshed out in politics and what was going on in Lima in 1992, that still didn't stop me from enjoying it fully. I think its meant to get the readers focused more on microcosm of society instead of something beyond the scope.

Author Information:
(From TLC)
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Natalia Sylvester_credit Eric SylvesterAbout Natalia Sylvester

Natalia Sylvester was born in Lima, Peru. She came to the U.S. at age four and grew up in South Florida, where she received a B.A. in creative writing from the University of Miami. A former magazine editor, Natalia now works as a freelance writer in Austin, Texas. 

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From reading goodreads reviews, I get the feeling that most people expected this book to be focused on action as well as thriller, but its not a thriller, in fact its a wonderful, complex and layered story full of psychology and something that makes me want to get Bel Canto by Ann Patchett and read it. What is it like when someone we know and love is kidnapped and there is a ransom involved? What do their minds go through? The book answers these questions and more. I really enjoyed reading it, for the writing is very addictive as well as the characters and I barely noticed the pages fly by. If you want a psychological read, then this is the right book, but if you want an action packed read, this is a wrong book.

Natalia Sylvester’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, June 2nd: Book-alicous Mama
Tuesday, June 3rd: Book Lust
Wednesday, June 4th: Bookchickdi
Wednesday, June 4th: The Lost Entwife
Thursday, June 5th: Sidewalk Shoes
Friday, June 6th: Bibliotica
Monday, June 9th: Sarah’s Book Shelves
Tuesday, June 10th: 5 Minutes for Books
Wednesday, June 11th: Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Wednesday, June 11th: A Bookish Way of Life
Thursday, June 12th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Friday, June 13th: Book Hooked Blog
Monday, June 16th: Books a la Mode – Guest post
Monday, June 16th: Lit and Life
Tuesday, June 17th: My Bookshelf
Wednesday, June 18th: Between the Covers
Thursday, June 19th: Read. Write. Repeat.
Friday, June 20th: Snowdrop Dreams of Books
Monday, June 23rd: Love at First Book
Tuesday, June 24th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Wednesday, June 25th: A Bookish Affair
Thursday, June 26th: Kritter’s Ramblings

This is for TLC Book Tour

5 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

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