by Shannon King
Three Pearls Press

"She flushed, anxious and angry in the dark. She was not looking for a decision to make. What she wanted to know was why - why everything upset her lately. Why panic spread beneath her skin and surfaced, like a sneeze, unpredictably, shaking her to the bone."

Is it ever just 'simple' mid-life crisis that causes a woman, a reasonably happy housewife, to start having random panic attacks as her children approach and enter college and her husband prepares to leave for a summer-long archaeological dig? Add in the distance that has developed in her relationship with that husband and a past history of infidelity and you may be getting warm. Yet the reason Kate decides to follow her husband down to Chiapas, Mexico has less to do with trying to rekindle their dying flame and much more to do with reigniting Kate's own inner fire.

Kate has no idea this is the case as she prepares to join two of her husband's graduate students on the drive down through Mexico as her husband flies ahead to get the dig reopened for the season. The drive through unfamiliar geography and encounters with a culture at times vastly different and at times all too familiar reveal to Kate, and to the reader following her journey, just what this trip has been all about.

King writes with a beautiful, relaxed style, exposing the world of her creation in bits and pieces, allowing the reader to supplement through their own experience and encouraging an interactive experience within the text. The pacing is slow but steady, making it a great relaxing read for next to the pool or curled up by the fire on a stormy night. Descriptions are given with the eye of a painter, providing detail and color that invites you to get lost among the pages. As Kate finds herself taking part in activities she never imagined herself doing, the reader is left to wonder whether she will find herself in the end.

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