Song of the Silk Road
What made me pick it up? Beautiful cover and an intriguing story line. The author has come up with a fantastic plot. A wannabe but proverbially poor author is called upon to inherit a vast sum of money. Condition? She has to go on a journey to the Silk Route in China and fullfill some tasks set by her unknown benefactor. Setting is wonderful. The attractions of Xian, the journey through the treacherous Taklamakan, the mountains and the lakes- the author paints the excitement and wonders of the ancient Silk Route deftly.
But sadly the plot and setting are accompanied by a protagonist who fails to evoke any sort of emotion. She is smug and so curiously lacking in any sort of conflict – internal or external that it is difficult to empathize. During the journey, she faces poverty, falls in love, is almost raped, loses a close friend – but at no point is she able to evoke any emotional connection with the reader. Neither does she grow or change through these experiences, remaining the same smug self till the end. She has an affair with a married man, her professor (which might be acceptable to her) but there is absolutely no introspection or conflict or reflection which such a situation might evoke.Every male character appears in the book only to fall in love with her and one wonders why, given her lack of emotional depth.
Coming to sex, explicit and abundant which becomes tiring after a while and falls in the way of the story. Language and dialogues often become unnatural and stilted.
All in all, one is left disappointed. It could have been a great read given the history and romance but just fails to reach to the readers.