Friday, January 8, 2016

Book Review: The Cenote by Chelsea Dyreng

The Cenote, by Chelsea Dyreng
2015, 264p, Clean Romance
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: Received a copy from the author for an honest review

Forced to marry a complete stranger, Sandpiper tries to adjust to life in her new village. But the mysterious Cenote, a great pool of water, has bewitched the men of the village, and Sandpiper must know why. This moving story of romance and redemption serves as an allegory with a timely message. Filled with drama and heart, it’s a book you won’t soon forget.

This book is fantastic! From the beginning, I was curious about Sandpiper. She started off with a secret. When a neighboring chief came to their village to find a wife for his son, her mother encouraged her to "win." The ceremony was pretty funny and before she knew it, Sandpiper was off to become Lark's wife. She was not very impressed with Lark and was definitely not in love with him. When she got to his village, she found a way to keep her first secret but it required her to keep yet another secret. 

It was interesting to learn about life in her new village. She was easily accepted and, as she started to learn more about Lark, she was able to see past her first impression and learn who he truly was. They both changed throughout the course of the story, but it wasn't smooth sailing. Sandpiper was frustrating at times but she was young, likable, and willing to learn. I wasn't sure about Lark at first, either, and he ultimately became my favorite character.

Then there was the Cenote itself. It was mysterious and only the men knew the truth about it. All the women knew was that they needed to collect the water because it was dangerous for the men and there were men who would drown in it. I was so curious as to what it was and why that would happen.

It's an allegory so there's plenty to discuss. It is clean but there are adult themes so I would recommend this to older readers. It would make a great selection for a book club or would be good to read with your spouse. It's a great story about love and forgiveness and made me laugh as well as cry. This is one of those books that sticks with you long after you turn the final page. What a great debut novel! I'm looking forward to reading more from this author in the future!

Chelsea Bagley Dyreng was born in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and is the daughter of a fireworks salesman and Miss Malibu. She earned her B.A. at Brigham Young University, worked as a librarian, and then moved to North Carolina where she and her husband are currently raising five God-fearing, book-loving, adventure-seeking kids.


sherry fundin said...

This sounds right up my alley. I love your review and it makes me want to read :-) I have been to Mexico and stood beside a Cenote. It does make me wonder what is down there.
sherry @ fundinmental

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