A Place in the World

Fiction - Cultural
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 07/26/2015
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Author Biography

Cinda Crabbe MacKinnon grew up in Latin America. She began telling stories to her little brother when they were children in Bogotá. Her experiences and love for the people, culture and natural setting of Colombia resulted in her novel, A Place in the World. A writer, former university lecturer, and environmental scientist, she has an MS in geology and a longtime passion for botany. This background enables her to weave details into her writing on tropical nature and geology, as well as other cultures. She has published short stories as well as articles in journals on environmental topics; she received the William Penn Mott Jr. Award for environmental advocacy. She lives in northern California with her husband Tom and their golden retriever

    Book Review

Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite

A Place in the World by Cinda Crabbe MacKinnon is set against the backdrop of Colombia. Alicia, a young American, marries into a wealthy Colombian coffee growing family. A biologist, she is transported into her husband Jorge's world where she lives on a coffee finca. As they learn more about coffee growing, Alicia is fascinated by the world around her. They slowly fall into a steady pattern in their lives, but a lot of other upheavals cause a dent in their relationship. Jorge leaves Alicia with their son and moves to Bogota with his family while she struggles to rebuild the coffee finca which is destroyed due to a volcanic eruption. This compelling book is a story of love, loss, grit, perseverance, determination, and it gives readers an insight into life in Colombia.

The book has many layers to it which makes it an entertaining and engaging read. All the characters are portrayed well. Alicia, Carmen, the housekeeper with whom Alicia forms a strong friendship, Jorge and Peter, the American geologist, are all memorable and will challenge the thinking of readers as they are taken into the historical, economic and political changes happening in Colombia. Many women readers will be able to relate to the character of Alicia and her struggle to support her family in a male dominated society. The author does an excellent job weaving a story alongside 1970s Colombia, the coffee finca, the people, the culture, and the fauna and flora of the country.


KIRKUS REVIEWS…the story of a young woman with no home and little connection to family…Alicia has lived all over the world, and follows her Colombian boyfriend Jorge, to his country…becomes part of the Carvallo coffee farm and, after a series of calamities, ends up running it alone...In the midst of this familial and romantic drama are many compelling, detailed descriptions of the rainforest. Mackinnon brings to life the forest's flora and fauna, the wildlife, and the tribal people in meticulous detail… and knowledge of the locale bring a unique richness to the novel.


“A Place in the World,” by Cinda MacKinnon, is a serene and poignant novel by a gifted storyteller that ramped up the tension toward the end and morphed into a thriller. The story of a young woman—a biologist— set down by fate in the cloud forests of Colombia. In the early chapters, it is a story of love, passion, and deception, against the backdrop of a beautiful unknown world. In the middle chapters, it a rewarding journey alongside a fascinating tenacious woman determined to find her place in the world…struggling against incredible odds to sustain a decent life for herself and her child; and finally, toward the end, it is the story friendship and a progression toward mature love and a sense of community. It is an extraordinary story and that seems as credible as real life - the sign of a genuine five-star story. This book will have wide appeal among variety of readers. I recommend it highly.

AWARD Winning Novel

Kindle Best Book Awards in Literary Fiction Category,
Semifinalist, 2014.
Indie Fiction,San Francisco Writers Conference:A Place in the World
Writer’s Digest Self-published Book Award