How Chasing the Sun Transported Me, and All the Other Amazing Stuff About it

Image-1I am in awe of CHASING THE SUN for so many reasons. For one, it moved swiftly and succinctly in a way that made it hard for me to put the book down. I HAD TO KNOW–what would happen to Marabela, despite my mixed feelings toward her. Would she survive, like she had her rocky childhood? Would Andres do what it took to get her back? I also gobbled up all of the cultural tidbits, the politics there, and the Spanish phrases like candy. I adore these parts of a novel–the kind of thing that teaches me something about a place that isn’t my own. And a literary thriller in present tense? What fun! I love the way Natalia pushed this boundary and OWNED it.

This book also sent me on a serious, internal exploration. One that scared the hell out of me. T traveled to a place I’ve never wanted to “go” but I had no choice as I was transported there. I imagined what it would be like to have a family member kidnapped, and even worse, one of my children or my husband. *shudders* It’s so very dark there, in that place, envisioning how my beloved would be doing their daily routine of riding their bike in the street, pausing to adjust their Spiderman helmet, or playing guitar on the doorstep and then POOF. Gone. And what would take while in captivity…makes me a little nauseous just writing that. How aptly Natalia describes it with this piece:

“Andreas tries not to think about where Marabela might be right now, about what they might be doing to her, but despite his best efforts, his thoughts have already carved a path to the darkest corners of his mind.”

If a writer captivates you and transports you to a place you didn’t expect, they’ve done their job. Bravo, Natalia. This was a wonderful book. To readers, if you haven’t picked up your copy, get thee pronto, to a bookstore.

What book can you remember that took you to an unforeseen place–either dark or light?

 

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Heather Webb

Writer, Editor
Heather Webb is the author of BECOMING JOSEPHINE, her debut historical (Plume/Penguin 2014). A freelance editor and blogger, she spends oodles of time helping writers hone their skills—something she adores. You may find her Twittering @msheatherwebb, hosting contests, or hanging around RomanceUniversity.org as a contributor to the Editor's Posts. She is also the Twitter mistress for the popular Writer Unboxed. She loves making new reader and writer friends. Stop on by her website, Between the Sheets!

This article has 4 Comments

  1. Yes, I love foreign language phrases and cultural references in books, too. I loved that about CHASING THE SUN and I loved it about your novel as well, Heather! (Did I ever tell you I went to French camp when I was a kid?) My next book is peppered with plenty of Spanish.

    I agree with you that Natalia’s writing is incredibility succinct. Never a clunky sentence in sight, in either language.

  2. Wow, thank you so much, Heather! It makes me especially happy that you enjoyed the present tense, because that’s a choice I struggled with for a while. I tried writing it in past, which is where my “comfort” zone was, but it felt like it lacked tension. I’m really glad it had the desired effect!

    xoxo!

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