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Flesh and Bone and Water by Luiza Sauma

I received this novel as an advance copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I love books with unique settings and cultures to my own; it’s like travelling but without actually going anywhere. I was really looking forward to this novel but it took me a while to get to it because my TBR list literally never stops growing. But now I’ve read it … and here is my review:

André Cabral was born in Brazil but now lives in London with his family, where he practices as a doctor. But when he receives a letter from his home country, it reminds him of his youth – the lazy afternoons, the parties, his afterschool job at his father’s practice… and his secret infatuation with the daughter of the family’s maid, Luana. Unable to resist the pull of the letter, André embarks on a journey back to Brazil to rediscover his past – and change his future.

What I loved about this novel was how it made Brazil come alive. The author did a great job of describing the culture, the people, and the social system in place. There were a lot of things that I did not know about Brazil that I know now after reading this novel, for which I am grateful to have had the opportunity. However, I didn’t like the story. This was probably because I didn’t like André. When he is describing himself as a teenager, you get the impression that he was a self-obsessed boy. Not much has changed in his adulthood. I found his character to be annoyingly selfish and prone to being melodramatic. The story was also not that unique, so I really wasn’t too interested in what was happening to the characters. The dialogue between the characters was also emotionless and that struck me as odd, since this story pretty much demands passion. Overall, this was just an okay novel – and that’s only because of the great setting the author created. However, the story itself failed in execution. For those reasons, I’m giving this a 1.5/5 stars.

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