"I cannot sleep unless I am surrounded by books."

Borges

Thursday, May 12, 2005

The Queen Jade - Yxta Maya Murray


The Queen Jade is a story of the love between a mother and daughter, Lola and Juana Sanchez. Juana, the mother is an adventurous archeologist, while Lola, her daughter is content to read her books and supervise D&D tournaments in her quiet little bookshop, The Red Lion.

When Juana turns up missing during a hurricane in Guatemala, Lola, along with Eric Gomara, Juana’s colleague and rival begin to search for clues. They discover that Juana has gone off in search of The Queen Jade, a mythical blue jade stone of the ancient Maya said to impart its possessor with incredible power.

Lola and Eric set off to Guatemala in search of Juana, but to find Juana they must unlock the clues to finding the Queen Jade. The book takes the reader on a gorgeous tour of Guatemala and into the mind of the ancient Mayan. This is post-civil war Guatemala and there are still tensions between the soldiers and the people and the author touches this in such a way that it leaves an indelible mark on the reader.

This is a story of love and loss, of friendships broken and repaired, of secrets and lies, of discovery of ones self as well as of a country and a legend. The women in this book are strong, intelligent problem-solvers. They are multi-faceted and complicated, funny, loving and true. The book is riveting and fun. There are puzzles and riddles, poetry and legend. I found this book to be marvelously written and well researched. Yxta Maya Murray has outdone herself.

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