The Woman Who Lost Her Soul

The Woman Who Lost Her Soul

Book - 2013
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Renowned through four award-winning books for his gritty and revelatory visions of the Caribbean, Bob Shacochis returns to occupied Haiti in The Woman Who Lost Her Soul before sweeping across time and continents to unravel tangled knots of romance, espionage, and vengeance. In riveting prose, Shacochis builds a complex and disturbing story about the coming of age of America in a pre-9/11 world.

When humanitarian lawyer Tom Harrington travels to Haiti to investigate the murder of a beautiful and seductive photojournalist, he is confronted with a dangerous landscape riddled with poverty, corruption, and voodoo. It's the late 1990s, a time of brutal guerrilla warfare and civilian kidnappings, and everyone has secrets. The journalist, whom he knew years before as Jackie Scott, had a bigger investment in Haiti than it seemed, and to make sense of her death, Tom must plunge back into a thorny past and his complicated ties to both Jackie and Eville Burnette, a member of Special Forces who has been assigned to protect her.

From the violent, bandit-dominated terrain of World War II Dubrovnik to the exquisitely rendered Istanbul in the 1980s, Shacochis brandishes Jackie's shadowy family history with daring agility. Caught between her first love and the unsavory attentions of her father--an elite spy and quintessential Cold War warrior pressuring his daughter to follow in his footsteps--seventeen-year-old Jackie hatches a desperate escape plan that puts her on course to becoming the soulless woman Tom equally feared and desired.

Set over fifty years and in four countries backdropped by different wars, The Woman Who Lost Her Soul is a magnum opus that brings to life, through the mystique and allure of history, an intricate portrait of catastrophic events that led up to the war on terror and the America we are today.
Publisher: New York : Atlantic Monthly Press, [2013]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780802119827
Branch Call Number: SHA
Characteristics: 715 pages ; 24 cm


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JCLMELODYK Oct 10, 2014

Deeply disturbing story of a soulless woman abused by her brutalized father. Not for the faint of heart. Shacochis' writing is mind-boggling superb.

Mar 02, 2014

I'm rarely disappointed in a book that has been recommended-but I finally gave up on this one-after 173 pages-and that took me way too long. Decided I had no real yearning for finding out how it developed or ended!!!

Feb 07, 2014

A contemporary War and Peace -- without the Peace. And a big fat book, to boot! However, a warning to would-be readers: if you don’t have a decent attention span and at least a smattering of 20th century history under your belt, then forgetaboutit.

I’ve been spoiled by Shacochis, his prose so lush (as they say), the descriptions so void of cliches, the sentences so complex and rhythmic. I wish I had an extra two weeks in life so I could flip the book to the beginning and read it out loud. Every couple of pages something would set the hairs on the back of my neck tingling.

Is "The Woman" herself an annoying, almost despicable, character. Definately. It's easy to see her as a metaphor for US foreign policy.

niftygal Dec 15, 2013

EW top 10 non-fiction of 2013

Nov 27, 2013

I had read a professional reviewer's gushing analysis of this book, and the storyline indeed seemed captivating. I actually made it through 600 pages until it dawned on me that the book's main character irritated me terribly, and the relationships she "developed" were toxic and impeded the flow of energy and interest that the other characters elicited in me instead. The writing is sharp and takes mind-numbing bends at times, but momentum flounders at several points on the rocks of mundane and trivial attenpts at forging an emotional ecosystem around the main character, which sucks the oxygen from the reading room.

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