I bought the book a day after it released, on March 1 but started reading it much later because I was reading “A Gentleman in Moscow” at that time … and was under its spell for nearly three weeks. Then I re-read “Rebecca” before picking this one up. I read the first few pages and went onto an old favourite “The Happiness Hypothesis” that I wanted to complete :):). Some Guild of Roadblocks kept me away from completing this book, till today !
I loved the plot … it takes you from Argentina, to the US to India and again back to the US as the First Mother’s descendants try to outsmart the lone assassin from the Guild of Assassins. I loved some of the expressions in this book – the First Mother being blind, had this to say “There’s a lot you can imagine when you aren’t restricted by only what you can see.” What a great way to think of blindness and in a way it can be applied to people who can see but are still blinded by their opinions, beliefs, likes and dislikes.
Another statement that Jay has attributed to Santiago is “… But no matter how good or evil the ruler, every single one of them had a common strategy. They needed followers, blind followers very much like mindless sheep. A successful ruler had to be like a shepherd.” That definition of a ruler/political leader is eternal, and can be applied across cultures and countries.
I can’t wait to see what other world secrets tumble out of the letters… this one did a nice spin on Hitler, Area 51 and the Mumbai blasts. Jay’s way of writing is very easy to read and the language is beautiful, so it engages the reader.
Recommendation – Definitely read it, if you like fiction and particularly, fiction that gives a twist to known history.
Jay, well done !!