Today we are leaving cold and grey Europe and travelling to beautiful Colombia. But maybe you will decide you are better off where you are…
Lady Colombia by Stacy Christopher Zaghloul
Laidy is a young woman living outside Bogotá, Colombia. She applies herself in school, works a part-time job, and helps to look after her aging father. Her exertions begin to take an emotional toll. An estrangement with her sister proves particularly painful, leading her to investigate unanswered questions about her past. To resolve these doubts, she must traverse the world of narco-traffickers, a task she is loath to do. Along the way, she travels to parts of Colombia she has never seen and learns that her family history is much more complicated than she ever imagined.
A genre-bending novel which incorporates elements of the women’s literature, Latina, coming-of-age, mystery, contemporary romance, family life and multicultural genres, Lady Colombia is a moving tale that guides readers through the splendid cultural weave of the land, whilst delivering on the promise of the unputdownable. This stunning debut work will resonate with readers for years to come.
After some of the controversy around American Dirt, I want to start this review by explaining that the author has lived in Colombia for some time. Through her words, you can see her love and respect for the country and, while I can’t say I know much about Colombia myself, in my humble opinion, I don’t think she sensationalises any aspect for the sake of a shocking story.
Moving on. Lady Colombia is a fantastic debut novel that transported me to a different time and place. I think most of us know about the cartels and narcos so that aspect of the book will be no surprise. What I want to point out is how the author focuses more on the struggle of everyday people to live a life outside crime. The author really shows how tempting it can be to take the wrong path and how once one member of the family joins up, then the entire family isn’t really safe.
However, Lady Colombia is not just a book about crime and hardship. There is also a love story that softens the book. A beautiful love story that you don’t really expect. I also enjoyed Laidy’s relationship with her father and exploring her dedication in finding out what happened her mother, joined with the guilt of doing so upsetting her father. The friendship between Laidy and Santi is also another wonderful relationship in this book and is what made me really warm to Laidy as a character. That and the fact that she suffers from anxiety. I wasn’t expecting this book to touch on anxiety but was done so in a really fitting and realistic way.
I read Lady Colombia following a string on thrillers and I wasn’t too happy about making the switch to another genre. However, I ended up really enjoying this book and I hope that you will too.
Lady Colombia is available to buy now.
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.