Ron's Reviews > In the Land of No Right Angles

In the Land of No Right Angles by Daphne Beal
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's review
Sep 27, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: beatrice-reading-series, debut-novel, travel
Read in September, 2008

When a young American backpacking through Nepal agrees to stop by a village to check in on a friend of a friend, it sets off a relationship that ensnares her repeatedly over the next eight years--Alex winds up helping the Nepali girl run away from her home and delivers her to their mutual friend, which leaves her feeling responsible for Maya's fate (though powerless to do much about it, despite her best efforts).

Alex is primarily a reactive character--think Nick in The Great Gatsby--and the novel focuses on her emotional responses to what's going on with Maya and Will, first in Nepal and then years later in Bombay. So the story's strength lies in large part in the way Beal elaborates Alex's observations as a sideline character in the drama, including her discomfort at being made the third point in a sexual/emotional triangle, and in conveying the progression of Alex's emotional maturity and judgment. The richly detailed descriptions of the two locations are also a strong asset.
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