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Chasing the Sun

3.29  ·  Rating details ·  2,893 ratings  ·  280 reviews

Andres suspects his wife has left him—again. Then he learns that the unthinkable has happened: she’s been kidnapped. Too much time and too many secrets have come between Andres and Marabela, but now that she’s gone, he’ll do anything to get her back. Or will he?

As Marabela slips farther away, Andres must decide whether they still have something worth fighting for, and exac

Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published June 1st 2014 by Lake Union Publishing
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Natalia Sylvester The title did arise mostly from the idea that each character is hoping and reaching for something that seems so out of reach, and that definitely appl…moreThe title did arise mostly from the idea that each character is hoping and reaching for something that seems so out of reach, and that definitely applies to Marabela and Andres's relationship. Also, the sun is such an important part of Peruvian culture, that it made sense to me to include it in the title. The Incas worshipped the sun god, Inti. There was a time when the Peruvian currency was called the Inti, until hyperinflation caused the economy to crash and a new currency unit, the Sol (the Spanish word for sun) replaced it. Several years later, a new unit was established yet again: the nuevo sol (new sun). The imagery of the sun is so intertwined in our culture and history, and I love that the title hints at this. (less)

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I do not need to actively like the characters in a book. Indeed, I am typically happier to be able to grab onto a loathsome heavy to keep my interest in a story. Sorry to say, there was nary a person in this tale that sparked my interest one way or the other. Tepidity - that is shaky ground for me.

The plot was okay, there was nothing egregious about the writing, but it felt for all the world that I was just going through the motions to read it. The phrase 'making up for lost time' is faulty. It
Feb 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gratis, 2014, favourites

Chasing The Sun is the stunning debut novel from Natalia Sylvester that I just couldn't put down. It's books like these that really make me appreciate how lucky I am to be able to participate in the Firstreads program. Being given the chance to win an advance reader copy is always thrilling. For a broke student like me who always plays it safe when purchasing books, the giveaways give me the opportunity to go outside of my comfort zone when picking stories.

The novel tells the story of a husband,
Melissa Crytzer Fry
Jun 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
When I met Natalia Sylvester on Twitter four years ago and first read her blog, my immediate thought was, “This is a writer to watch. Big things are in her future.” Her blog posts, from the start, were poetic and laced with beautiful metaphor. And they still are. (It’s not easy to silently weave metaphor into a piece and have the reader not even know she’s reading it until the very end).

So it comes as no surprise that her debut novel, based in part on a kidnapping within her extended family, hel
Linda ~ they got the mustard out! ~
What is it with Amazon Kindle First and missing persons stories? Every month, someone's missing or someone was killed under mysterious circumstances years in the past, or it's WWII. Eventually, they're going to have a book that's set during WWII in which someone is killed mysteriously and someone else goes missing, only for our protag to suddenly remember details years later on a trip to their family lake house and piece it all together. Spoiler alert: It was the butler!

This is one of the first
Patricia Williams
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a good book but a very different kind of story. It was told in two sections. The first is about a wife being kidnapped and what the husband does to get her back. Second part is about what happens to the family after the wife returns home. It had intrigue and mystery but also a good story about love. I definitely enjoyed reading this book and will read more by this author.

The cover of this book hooked me, and its interesting blurb reeled me in.

Then it lost me literally as soon as I started reading.

Some reasons I am abandoning this book
-Stiff, unnatural dialogue. (This is basically a dealbreaker for me on its own.)
-Boredom from the get-go. (Weird start to a book when you should be hooking the reader, let me say.)
-Overly descriptive about things like cans of vegetables. (I don't care. Please don't give me a detailed description of canned food, unless there's som
Jolina Petersheim
May 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"He is always thinking of the last words he said to her." I was captivated from this opening line in Natalia Sylvester's stunning literary debut, Chasing The Sun, and remained absorbed in the story of an estranged marriage pushed to the limits when a wife is kidnapped. Her husband must then choose to what extent he is willing to sacrifice in order to get her back . . . a woman who left him before. Clear prose, vivid characters, and keen psychological awareness--Chasing The Sun has all this and m ...more
May 10, 2014 rated it liked it
This book leaves me a bit muddled. Marabela and Andres are together because they both deceived Elena. Andres and his children are estranged from his parents because Marabela deceived Rolando. Marabela is unhappy that photography is now just a hobby and not her livelihood because Andres deceived her. Elena and Marabela have both suffered at the hands of kidnappers though it seems Marabella was arbitrarily spared sexual assault. There's a hint of something between Marabela and Guillermo -- which i ...more
May 03, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-read, mystery
I had absolutely no expectations with this book, so I was pleasantly surprised that I finished it in just a few days. I got it as a Kindle First book, a month or two ago , and decided to download it yesterday while I was in between books. It was a fast read and I found it fairly enjoyable.

Imagine that your marriage is failing, and then your significant other is kidnapped and held for ransom by political extremists. What would you be willing to pay? How would you feel? Could things ever be the s
Rachel León
I listened to the audiobook and disliked the way it was read, so I advise you not to check this one out on audio. I loved Natalia Sylvester's beautiful prose and the skill in which the plot unfolded. I wish I would have read it rather than listened to it, as I'm sure I'd have enjoyed it so much more. ...more
Jun 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to Goodreads for providing me the opportunity to receive this free book in their giveaway. I, in turn, read this novel and am providing an honest but simple review.

The setting is Peru where police can be often unable to provide help with kidnappings, for whatever reasons. This story required the help of an intermediary, someone who could help with the demands of the kidnappers. I was very interested in this story and did find myself unable to put the book down for the last half.

The hus
Lisa Alber
Nov 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This debut novel was a perfect balance between a page-turner and a wonderfully written literary novel. In fact, I'd call CHASING THE SUN a literary thriller!

Natalia Sylvester paints a portrait of the Jimenez family in Peru that is so specific and so true that the story becomes universal. We can all connect to poor Andres, struggling to do the right thing; to his kidnapped wife, who has been unhappy for awhile; to his daughter, who doesn’t understand what’s going on but just wants her mom; to his
Chaitali Sen
Jun 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I started this book when I didn't have a lot of time to sink into it, and finally finished it today in a feverish marathon. This book is so full of quiet suspense and emotional heartbreak. It's about a troubled marriage at its most harrowing moment, during a three-week period when the wife of a businessman in Peru is kidnapped. To me this book is about letting go of sentimentality and facing hard truths about one's life - truths about the self, marriage, and society, and the courage it takes to ...more
May 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Chasing the Sun by Natalia Sylvester held my interest from beginning to end. It is the story of a marriage. A marriage that was already in trouble, but becomes even more stressed when the wife Marabela is kidnapped. Andres must do what he can to get her back. He hires a professional mediator to help him in getting his wife back home. While, he is struggling to do what he needs to do, he has time to reflect on his life, his children, and his marriage.

Well written, with just the right amount of s
Ily Pastor
Jul 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
loved it, can't wait for it to come out and then a sequel. ...more
Bill Wolfe
May 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Andres appears to have it all. He owns a successful printing company, lives in a beautiful house in a wealthy neighborhood, and is married to Marabela, a beautiful and strong-willed woman who works as a freelance photojournalist and is a devoted mother to their two children.

But appearances can deceive. All is not well in the Lima, Peru home of the Jimenez family. Marabela recently left Andres, only to return after four days for the sake of their children, Ignacio and Cynthia. Andres still loves
Years ago I read Ann Patchett's haunting novel, Bel Canto, about a group of people kidnapped by terrorists at a party at the home of the vice-president in a South American country. I can vividly recall sitting on my porch mesmerized by the characters and the story.

When I heard about Natalia Sylvester's debut novel, Chasing the Sun, which tells the story of an industrialist's wife's kidnapping in Peru, I was curious to read it. Sylvester lived in Lima, Peru and her novel is inspired by a family m
Mary White
Jan 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Natalia Sylvester’s debut novel, Chasing the Sun, the curtain rises on a domestic drama involving Andres and Marabela, an upper-class Peruvian couple. Married for many years, they have grown apart and dispassionate. They sleep separately and spend most of their time in their own pursuits. Marabela shows little interest in Andres’s work at the company he built, preferring to shut herself away in the photography darkroom he has provided her—a symbol of how most of the light has gone out of thei ...more
Terri Buchholz
Aug 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lindsay Nixon
I couldn’t get into this book, I tried twice, both times reading for more than an hour. I liked the premise and that it was happening in Peru but it was... flat.
Nov 21, 2014 marked it as could-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
I don't give CHASING THE SUN a star rating because I did not finish it; it's not fair to rate a book that I don't completely read. I do, however, comment on it because I read about half, 134 pages. The story hadn't grabbed me by then, and a good book should grab a reader right away.

Thus far, the story is about a man, Andres, in Peru whose wife has been kidnapped for ransom, a common occurrence in Peru. Andres is a business owner and well off enough to have servants, a nice home, and the best car
Apr 09, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: net-galley
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

3.5 stars.

Although I admired many things about this book, including the intriguing setting and the author's development of the main characters at the beginning of the book, I ultimately felt that the story could have been stronger. The switch in narrative POV in the second half of the book was distracting for me, because it didn't seem to fully allow me into the characters' heads. It was hard for me to be fully s
May 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kidnapping, peru
This is a very interesting book to read, but I enjoyed it. I think there is something real and natural about the misery in this book; the realization that you might have made the wrong choice and married the wrong person... but you still want to try. I found myself rooting for Andres, which was strange for me, because I normally always root for the wife. Marabella is such an unlikable character though, and she never changes throughout the book. I think there is a lot of unfinished business in th ...more
May 17, 2014 rated it it was ok
The plot sounded intriguing..a Peruvian wife of a prominent businessman is kidnapped for ransom; apparently a common occurrence in Lima. But there were all these subplots, and the story got muddied...I finished it because I wanted to see how it all worked out. A little better character development and some tightening of the story lines would have really made this book a page turner. Instead it kind of limped along.
Jan 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, crime
Got this free from Amazon Prime. My goal this year is to read the books I already have in my house. I have several on my iPad and a bunch on my shelf. Andres and Marabela are unhappily married. Then she is kidnapped. The first half of the book focuses on Andres attempt to get her back. The second half focuses on the aftermath. I was never completely engaged. The book was well written. I was just not captivated.
Peter L Boynton
Aug 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
A Gem

A Gem

A deep probe of love, marriage, guilt, loss, friendship and terror, set in the tumultuous 80's of Lima, Peru, when the Sendero Luminoso was at it's peak.
May 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good book. Well written.
Feb 05, 2020 rated it liked it
it's very interesting a whole book about amazing sun ... 3 stars to thank the author ... although these kind of books are not my thing i read it for a change ... ...more
May 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
The book was slow to start, but Natalia Sylvester is a beautiful writer. It was painful to read about the dissolution of a relationship, but it was real & raw.
Jul 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
There was a scene in the center of Natalia Sylvester’s debut novel, Chasing the Sun, which so completely transported me into the story that I didn’t even care that I was sitting in a very crowded Starbucks sniffling with tears in my eyes. The scene involves Andres Jimenez, the novel’s protagonist, having to tell his families’ maids, Consuelo and Carla, that he can no longer afford their services. This moment comes on the heels of series of heartbreaks for Andres and it feels like the last little ...more
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Born in Lima, Peru, Natalia Sylvester came to the US at age four and grew up in Florida and the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.

She received a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Miami and now lives in Texas. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Bustle, Catapult, Electric Literature, Latina magazine, McSweeney's Publishing, and the Austin American-Statesman.

Natalia’s first novel, CHA

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