Don’t think too hard. This book is fun like popcorn, you can’t put it down, but don’t overthink the plot.
There are 2 ‘braided’ stories, one plot with a bunch of shorts featuring different narrators.
- One centers around Brazil, Nicaragua, Surinam, and Delaware.
- The other centers on /J/a/p/a/n/ Nippon & California. Maps!
- When the slaves are freed, they are not instantly transformed into noble, misunderstood creatures. They have their culture and continue on this new shore. With mixed results 🙂
- Not every European is a Christian, thank you.
- When the Japanese Christians are exiled to new shores, there are interesting cultural conflicts within their own group(s) as well as with the local tribes.
- All the conflicts are solved, handy-dandy. Why is that bad? There seem to be no long-term issues between Native Americans and the newcomers. My suspension of disbelief wobbled.
- When Frauline Maria sighs that her brother is ruining the family property and undervaluing the work she does to keep it up (read, does not value at all), she never wonders if she could do the job better.
- From short story to short story, information is repeated and repeated. And sometimes information changes. The repeats are because the shorts were published separately, but why the changes?
The Double Take:
- The kayak story. Oh wow.
- The obligatory romances almost never end the way I expected.
- Frauline Maria realizes that the famous women naturalists will never be born, so she decides to Do Something about that.