From the pen of The Movie Snob.
The Woman Who Lost Her Soul, by Bob Shacochis (2013). This novel has its strong points, but the cover blurb from NPR calling it the first Great American Novel of the 21st century seems way overblown to me. The book is divided into five major sections, and I thought the first two were the strongest. In “Book One,” the protagonist is a human-rights lawyer who’s called upon to travel to Haiti and help investigate the murder of an American woman—a woman he briefly knew and was dazzled by a couple of years earlier. Book Two is a harrowing look at a (different) woman and her young son trying to escape Croatia to safety at the tail end of World War II. Book Three, which seemed the longest, is about a seventeen-year-old American girl living in Istanbul with her diplomat father. It was pretty good. I thought the last two books kind of went off the rails. Anyway, I thought the writing was strong, but be warned that there’s a lot of sordid stuff in this tale. And, as I mentioned, I didn’t care for the wrap-up.