Book Review: The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne

The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne

The Girl in the Road: What it is about

From the publishers: “In a world where global power has shifted east and revolution is brewing, two women embark on vastly different journeys—each harrowing and urgent and wholly unexpected.

When Meena finds snakebites on her chest, her worst fears are realized: someone is after her and she must flee India.  As she plots her exit, she learns of The Trail, an energy-harvesting bridge spanning the Arabian Sea that has become a refuge for itinerant vagabonds and loners on the run.  This is her salvation.  Slipping out in the cover of night, with a knapsack full of supplies including a pozit GPS system, a scroll reader, and a sealable waterproof pod, she sets off for Ethiopia, the place of her birth.

Meanwhile, Mariama, a young girl in Africa, is forced to flee her home.  She joins up with a caravan of misfits heading across the Sahara. She is taken in by Yemaya, a beautiful and enigmatic woman who becomes her protector and confidante. They are trying to reach Addis Abba, Ethiopia, a metropolis swirling with radical politics and rich culture.  But Mariama will find a city far different than she ever expected—romantic, turbulent, and dangerous.

As one heads east and the other west, Meena and Mariama’s fates are linked in ways that are mysterious and shocking to the core.”

The Girl in the Road: What I thought

Beautifully written, an interesting story. I love stories that take place in the future, and in this one, a young woman, Meena, illegally travels on an bridge from India to Africa. What a strange idea! This bridge is created to turn energy from sea waves into electricity. Although you’re not allowed to travel on it, Meena comes across several people who live or work there on a more or less permanent basis.

I liked Meena’s story the best. Mariama is travelling too, but she’s going through Africa to Ethiopia. Her story was also good, but not quite as engaging. She gets really obsessed with a woman she meet on the way, almost turns it into a religion.

Meena, it turns out, is strongly affected by the loss of her mother, years ago. Her traveling The Trail is her way to “find” her mother back.

Towards the end, I got a little confused with remembering who was who. There weren’t many women in the story, but I started to find it hard to remember who was related to whom in what way. But overall, this was a very interesting story, unique and special.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (Good)

Number of pages: 324

First published: 2014

I got this: from the publishers, Random House USA, via my Dutch rep.

Genre: Sciene fiction, dystopia



About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

4 Responses to Book Review: The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne

  1. Topazshell says:

    I like the idea of the two girls traveling in different directions. Then, they meet? I like it. I can understand why it bothered you near the end.

  2. bibliosue says:

    I like that this is set in a different place, one doesn’t see many books set in Ethiopia.

  3. Melinda says:

    What a strange story. I’d like to read Meena’s story, I love reading about how loss and tragedy affects people.

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