Title: The Road to Rangoon
Author: Lucy Cruickshanks
Page Count/Review Word Count: 440
This is the second of two books that Lucy has written and which are set in Burma, and I was kind of expecting this one to be a sequel. It wasn’t, at least as far as I could tell, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying it. Perhaps it’s not the kind of book that I’d usually read, but I’m still glad that I picked it up.
Cruickshanks has a knack for establishing a sense of place, and when you’re reading this book it really feels as though you’re there. The plot was great as well, although I wasn’t too attached to the characters. I think the characters were better in the first book but that the plot was better in this one, so perhaps it just depends on what kind of reader you are.
Another good thing about this book was how quick and easy it was to read. I whizzed through it in two or three days and when I finished, it felt like I’d just got back from a holiday. It wasn’t much of a holiday though, because the book is set during the 1980s before armed conflict in the country led to it changing its name from Burma to Myanmar. Rangoon was also changed to Yangon, which means that even the title of this book helps to establish a sense of time and place.
Because of that, this novel is a sort of weird mixture between literary fiction, historical fiction and a sort of military thriller. I can’t think of anything that I’ve read that’s quite like it, and I read a lot of different stuff. I’d be interested to know what some of Cruickshanks’ inspirations were when she wrote this, although I also watch her talk about books on BookTube and so I already know what she’s into.
So would I recommend this one? Yes and no, because I don’t think it’s quite right for everyone. That said, I think if the synopsis sounds good and you have some sort of interest in Burma then it’s pretty much a no-brainer, because it’s well-written, well-edited and an all-round professional release. The only reason I can think of that someone might not like it would be if they’re just not that interested in the subject matter.
All in all, then, Lucy did a great job with this one and I think it was a worthy follow-up to her first book. She didn’t just try to imitate herself and that’s to be commended. Good stuff.