Non Fiction

Timeless On The Silk Road: An Odyssey From London To Hanoi

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I have read two non-fiction books about the silk road in the years that I have been reading and reviewing advance copies. Both were different, and this third provided a whole other outlook to the journey, especially given the author’s mode of transport as well as her own health issues.
At the start of the book, the author spends a lot of time laying the groundwork for this to be a memoir. She talks of her previous journey and the time between the two trips as she gets terrible news about her health and the partying and the work that she does when in London. This part seemed to stretch out for a while, and I found it hard to get through, it was unexpected, and I was not in the frame of mind to read about the various kinds of people that she encountered in the city and the lifestyle that she participated in. I almost gave up at this stage (I talk of this because it might be something that might happen to other readers, too!), but I decided to give it a bit more time before I actually gave up.
I am glad I stuck with it because the emotional and mental journey that the author traces in the book once she starts was fascinating. She had near misses with regards to badly behaved people, which was somewhat balanced out with the strangers with big hearts who helped her survive the drive. The epilogue that follows the story of the journey (which took place in 1995) and how she lived with her HIV diagnosis helped put the entire book into perspective.
The book comes with photos, some of which added a layer to the narration of the place. Heather works hard throughout the journey, and although it may not have turned out the way she hoped, there is definitely a story worth telling within it.
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.

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