Okay, I’m going to admit something: This isn’t the book I necessarily wanted next from Heidi R. Kling (what can I say? I was excited about Masquerade Girl, though it’s whereabouts are unknown). But I enjoyed it.
First off, I liked the main character, Sienna. She irked my nerves some, but I liked her overall. When it came to Deni, she had a habit of making bad decisions. I’m interested to read the sequel and see what happens with her after the two weeks in Indonesia. I wanted more of the life that she left at home, and I’m hoping that there will be more of that in book two, which comes this April. Luckily, I don’t have to wait long to find out.
I wanted to love Deni, I really did. But I found myself trapped in a pleasant liking. I could’ve done without him in Sienna’s life, and he caused more problems that I would’ve liked. Yes, there were romantic scenes with him, but I didn’t love him. Now, he was different than any character I’ve encountered. I liked how much Kling knew about the culture and how she incorporated that into the novel so well. I enjoyed the setting, even if the main focus, Deni, wasn’t my favorite.
The book takes place largely at an orphanage in Indonesia. The kids that Sienna meets melted my heart. I loved what the work did to Sienna as a person more than what the romance did to her, and I also saw it as “Maybe this is more of a story of finding Sienna than finding love.” It’s a story of self-discovery and reevaluating herself after a tragic event that’s ran her life for years.
The sequel will tie up all the loose ends. I didn’t read the original version of this story, and I have a like and dislike of that. I wish I knew what the original ending was, purely because I would like to know the difference. I also liked not knowing the ending Kling originally wrote because it let me appreciate the story as something new and see the future that it has.
Overall, this isn’t my favorite of Kling’s work, but I did enjoy it. If you’re looking for a touching story with a beautiful journey of discovery, then you should check this one out.