Synopsis in a Sentence: Gabriella, daughter of a famous movie producer, travels to her mother's homeland, Colombia, as she struggles to make sense of who her mother really was.
I really did not care for this book. I'm giving it only 1 star, but that might be slightly harsh...it's probably more like 1 and a 1/2 or maybe even 2 stars.
I did enjoy reading about a country in South America, as I don't often read about this part of the world, and it was interesting to see how different their lives are there from ours. I also identified with Gabriella's feelings of devastation over the loss of her mother, as I also almost lost my mother at a young age. I thought her need to learn all she could about her mother was very realistic...don't we all want to know as much as we can about the ones we love while we have the chance?
Unfortunately, Gabriella finds out that her mother was not content with their well to do life in Hollywood, and had been going back to Columbia on pretense of visiting her family, only to actually be having an affair with a man there. Gabriella finds her mother's diary, and so we get to hear Helena's side of the story in her own words, which added a deeper layer to the novel.
Gabriella travels to Columbia, finding herself not ready for college yet, and stays with her mother's family, whom she doesn't treat very well, in my opinion. She also becomes involved in an unhealthy relationship with the son of a drug lord.
I'm just not sure if I saw any change or growth on Gabriella's part as a character, which is what I kept waiting for as I read. The end is left sort of a mystery as we aren't sure whether or not Helena was actually abandoning her family on her last trip to Colombia, where she died in a plane crash.
Overall, there were some interesting and thoughtful aspects to this novel, but not enough to really impress me or to read more from this author. I could see a teenager perhaps enjoying this book more, as it deals with a young lady trying to understand herself, her parents, and her place in the world.