Paula Huston (author); A LAND WITHOUT SIN; Slant Publishing (Fiction: Literary) 27.00 ISBN: 9781620326589
Byline: Aimee Jodoin
Narrator Eva tells her story with bold determination and a brashly cynical voice that juxtaposes luminously the compassionate message of the novel.
Paula Huston's lush language, flowing dialogue, and the protagonist's fresh narrative voice all weave together to form this Conradesque story of our faith in each other. While at first a dark and dangerous story of a hardened traveler, A Land Without Sin is ultimately a novel about the beauty of the human soul -- essentially a counterargument to Conrad's Heart of Darkness.
Under the guise of a job as an assistant to an anthropologist studying the Maya, photojournalist Eva Kovic enters Guatemala in search of her brother, Stefan, who has disappeared from a church, having become a priest following a family tragedy twenty years previous. In 1993, the country is on the brink of a revolution, and Eva can trust no one with the details of her secret mission, especially her boss, Jan, who has an ulterior motive of his own: to remove his family from the danger of the impending civil war.
Eva narrates her story with bold determination and an outlook so brash and cynical "you could chill a six-pack if you put it next to [her] heart." Eva's skepticism perfectly juxtaposes Stefan's unwavering faith. That they understand each other's beliefs and are...