The Shade Under the Mango Tree by Evy Journey

Book Summary:

After two heartbreaking losses, Luna wants adventure. Something and somewhere very different from the affluent, sheltered home in California and Hawaii where she grew up. An adventure in which she can also make some difference. She ends up in place where she gets more than she bargained for.

Lucien, a worldly, well-traveled young architect, finds a stranger’s journal at a café. He has qualms and pangs of guilt about reading it. But they don’t stop him. His decision to go on reading changes his life.

Months later, Luna and Lucien meet at a bookstore where Luna works and which Lucien frequents. Fascinated by his stories and adventurous spirit, Luna goes to a rural rice-growing village in a country steeped in an ancient culture and a deadly history. What she finds there defies anything she could have imagined. Will she leave this world unscathed?

An epistolary tale of courage, resilience of the human spirit, and the bonds that bring diverse people together.

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Self-Publishing Review

The Shade Under the Mango Tree by Evy Journey is a dazzling, globe-spanning tale of two interconnected lives, bound in an unlikely way, but forever changed by the connection.

From a simple lost notebook comes an unusual storybook romance, a tale of growing up and seeing the world, of saying goodbye and remembering lost things. Luna and Lucien are the star-crossed protagonists whose lives are dissected with intimate, in-depth character studies, making their unpredictable bond a pleasure to unravel.

Lucien’s discovery of Luna’s journal, and the eventual crossing of their paths, feels like the plot of a familiar romance, but this story is far more complex. The introduction provides a grim vision of Luna’s future, and the rest of the book plots the inevitable course leading back to that point. In a beautiful way, the story explores how powerful connections can be born at a distance, across time and space, without any expectation or hope, yet still change a person’s life.

The temporal flexibility of the prose gives readers a complete perspective in a more interesting way than a basic memoir or collection of journal entries. Granted, some of the journal passages read more like functional prose than personal reflections that might be found in a diary, but this is a small conceit – the storyline is rich and vulnerable, with authentic emotional struggles and believable relationships. Throughout, simple, evocative language and bold descriptions are intermingled with flashes of poetic imagery.

Aided by strong thematic undertones, subtle symbolism, high stakes, and an ultimately hopeful narrative voice, Evy Journey has delivered a captivating story about following your heart no matter where it leads, and forging your own path.

About the Author:

I took a few things from my childhood to put in this book:

1. Growing up with a loving grandmother and returning to my parents’ home to go to school.
2. A big mango tree on the corner of her property that never bore fruit.
3. Spending summer vacations with my grandmother and sleeping with her on her big bed for the first one or two weeks of my visit.
4. Grandma’s tucking jasmine flowers into her hair gathered into a bun at the back of her head.

Published Books


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