I received Woman of a Thousand Secrets by Barbara Wood through the Library Thing Early Reviewers. This novel rocked.
SO, Woman of a Thousand Secrets is about Tonina, who lives on Pearl Island. She was found by a childless couple floating on the sea in a basket, who have raised her from infancy and loved her as their own, but realize that the islanders will never accept her. So they send her out to find a specific flower under the ruse that her grandfather (her adopted father) is sick and needs this flower to survive. This book takes place in Mexico/Central America in the 1300s. That’s the basis of the story.
This book starts off with a bang and doesn’t let up until the last page. If you hate to know anything before you start reading a book, then that previous paragraph is probably more than enough for you, so don’t read on. But what I’m about to tell you does in no way spoil the book.
Okay, so as Tonina is leaving Pearl Island, this one guy who hates her because she’s the best swimmer on the island AND she’s an outsider, decides he wants to kill her, but he ends up getting eaten by sharks, and then when Tonina gets to mainland, this dwarf with one eye rips her off but feels bad so returns what he stole and then plots how he will rip her off in the future, and there’s this other guy named Balam who has a gambling problem and he gets in a buttload of trouble which involves his friend, Kaan, and Kaan and Tonina kinda have a connection ’cause they look like each other so they’re probably from the same peeps somewhere and there’s just a whole heckuva lot of murder, deceit, plotting, revenge, love, loss, and all kinds of other heart-racing events. Whew! That was a lot to say in one breath.
This book was so good I didn’t want to put it down…though I did start having issues with how things ended up working out a little too conveniently, and I’ll admit it brought the book down a bit in my rating. But it did satisfy my craving for justice and rightness and good things coming to good people and bad things coming to bad people, even if we have to wait a while for that stuff to happen.
When I told a friend about this book, she said, Oh, like Clan of the Cave Bear. And I was like, Well, I don’t know, I haven’t read that book. So that’s that. BUT, if you like Clan of the Cave Bear, then I assume you’ll like this. Don’t worry! You need not fear for my soul, I have put Clan of the Cave Bear on my BookMooch wishlist, but I’m waiting for a really nice copy to become available.
I highly recommend this book and I won’t hesitate to pick up other books by Barbara Wood.
Rating: 89 out of 100