The Girl In the Road by Monica Byrne begins as one of its main characters, Meena, finds snake bites on her chest. She flees India for Ethiopia via an energy-harvesting bridge that spans the Arabian Sea. In a parallel story, Mariama travels in a truck caravan from her home in Africa toward Ethiopia. Both women undergo fantastical, violent ordeals and meet mysterious characters until their stories clash.
Monica Byrne writes this futuristic novel with dazzling detail. In fact, the rapid-fire prose can overwhelm as the reader delves deeper into the story. Along with stunning descriptions of the landscapes and skies, Byrne allows us to see the darkest aspects of each main and minor character. As they flee from the past, Meena and Mariama journey through political and personal upheavals and tragedies as well as natural and man-made disasters.
This debut novel’s greatest asset is its unending, roller-coaster detail and narration. I found, however, that the shocking plot twists and vivid dialogue came at such a dizzying speed that the story became incoherent in some places. I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Girl In the Road by Monica Byrne, but I sometimes felt as though I wanted the ride to slow down a bit. Still, I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys an imaginative, futuristic tale. I look forward to reading more from this author.
FTC disclaimer: I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review. I was not obligated to write a positive review; all opinions in this review are my own.