“It is a flaw of the human spirit that we always want what we don’t have, and the achievement of one goal merely sparks the setting of another; at least in those of us who strive to better ourselves.”–Frances Conway, Enchanted Islands
- Here’s what happens:
- Allison Amend takes the real life of Galapagos resident Frances Conway, a story about which relatively little is known, and fills it with secrets and espionage. Set against the Great Depression and World War II, Frances’s life is filled complex anti-Semitism, confusing sexuality, and more than a handful of complicated relationships with those closest to her. But sent to a desert island in service of her country is where she finds the clarity and strength to understand a life of solitude and unrequited romance.
- It’s good because:
- I truly didn’t know what to make of this book until I finished it. What was the message? What was the author telling me about secrets, about love? In the end, it was a unique story (I never could’ve predicted some of the characters’ backstories) with a very interesting take on how much we actually know and understand about the people we love most.
- Read if:
- I saw this book on the Book of the Month Instagram, and selected it without really knowing anything about it other than it hit a country I hadn’t read yet. If you want an unexpected read and a different kind of WWII book, I’d recommend this.
Up next: Guinea with the 2011 Best American Nonrequired Reading, edited by Dave Eggers.