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.