This is a remarkable book spanning 50 years of the history of Nicaragua. It's a tale of two young cousins and their families and the effects of war on them. I won't go into the plot of this book as I think the advertising blurb gave away a bit too much of the story. I would have preferred not to have known as much and to let the story tell itself. It's a powerful story of love, desire, war and loyalty. I sometimes find war books too political and hard to follow but this one made the politics of the time very clear. The novel incorporates real characters and events into its story and brings that time period in Nicaragua to life.
The author often uses the sense of smell to highlight the beautiful moments in this book, the touching interactions with loved ones, the sense of home, which impressed upon me how little we see that happen. The smells of vanilla, jasmine, peppermint, wet earth, coriander and so many other scents that I can't remember them all, flow throughout the book.
Some parts of this book were hard to read. The horrors of war are always hard to read. It was a violent time and the author doesn't hesitate to show that violence. It's not a light book by any means and it's a slow read, but well worth it.
I was given this book by Story Cartel in exchange for an honest review.