This wasn’t a book I was honestly sure I would like, because it’s not something that’s typically within my comfort zone. When it comes to dystopian novels I will admit I usually reach for a book that has a bit more of a familiar setting to me than the one found here in The Girl in the Road.
However with this book I found I was actually quite pleasantly surprised. The author has written the book so enriched with detail that if I tilted my head back and closed my eyes I could easily picture the setting without too many problems. The characters’ unfamiliarity with the setting only served to allow me to sink into this book further. It allowed me to empathize with these women, both of whom are strong in their own ways.
The good thing about these two characters as well, is despite the alternating chapters and the alternating timelines is that they are each written in a way that is distinctive and allows the reader to understand that they are now in the world of either Meena or Mariana. This was something I had worried about during the first few changes, as I tried to get a grasp on what was happening but was quickly able to identify each of them before their names were even mentioned.
The only thing that really took me out of the novel, which I quickly adapted to was the lack of quotation marks. However I respect the stylistic choice and by the end was not even phased by it as I whipped through the characters one by one.
This novel is recommended for anyone who likes a good dystopia with strong female characters, but also those who prefer to have their reading experience enriched by lush description of setting, characters and time line. In this novel Africa is a living, breathing character, as is India, with enough mysteries and action to keep even the least attentive reader enraptured.