The Other Side of the Mountain by Fiona Cane
The Last Word Review
Set amongst the backdrop of poverty and political desperation. An exhilarating and beautifully told story
Haiti is the setting for Fiona Cane’s fourth novel The Other Side of the Mountain. We find three women in a country that is ripped apart by desperation, unbelievable poverty and a country in a political quagmire. Set in 2001 this was before the devastating earthquake of 2010.
We find the three women namely Yolande, Clare and Maddy. All three women driven by a motive, Yolande searching for the sister that her abusive father sold and ended up in slavery, for Clare trying to bury her past by helping the women of Haiti who are oppressed, then there is Maddy a journalist now on her first assignment, trying to create a career for herself.
The Other Side of the Mountain is an outstandingly beautiful novel and I was completely captivated by the sheer beauty of the story being set out before me.
All three women are carrying a painful past yet drawn to this country for a reason and each of the main characters are just wonderfully portrayed and you have a real empathy for each of them despite the language and culture differences you get a real sense of being there. Yet all three women face real challenges and danger while in Haiti.
What come through this story is the incredibly way in which Fiona Cane writes about the women and the country of Haiti the sights the sounds, sadly it is not all post card story telling. The story of Yolande is heart-breaking as what she and her family went through is very much the norm, Cane does not hold back from the sheer brutality as we get to read about the atrocities that were taking place almost daily. This was an era of political instability that creates the poverty that the people of Haiti had to endure, imagine if you can 50% of the population at that time living on $1 a day forced to sleep standing up and children living on the streets trying to earn money. The sheer brutality and injustice is nothing short of appalling and makes difficult reading through the book.
An incredible story that I cannot recommend highly enough. The Other Side of the Mountain is an incredible story that can be described as a seminal piece of work for Fiona Cane as she has been drawn back to Haiti earlier this year. Which you can read more about via her blog on her website Here It is worth reading.
As much as I am a little late to reviewing Fiona Cane’s fourth novel it was well worth the wait.
My sincere thanks to Fiona Cane for a review copy.
The Other Side of the Mountain written by Fiona Cane was published on 11 June 2015 by Create Space Independent Publishing.