Open Pit, Marguerite Pigeon

open pit

I went in waves with this book. Sometimes, I dug it. Sometimes, I was annoyed that the characters were such caricatures.

We’re in El Salvador, 2005. A group of Canadian human rights activists are taken hostage by a former revolutionary fighter. One of those activists is Danielle, who was in El Salvador 25 years previously as an embedded journalist during the civil war. The novel bounces between Danielle’s perspective and her daughter Aida’s. Aida was fathered by a guerrilla fighter Danielle got involved with during her first go-around in El Salvador. Lots of complicated mother-daughter angst there.

The back cover of this book calls it a ‘tense, gripping political thriller as well as a genre-busting literary work.’ To me, it’s just the former. And it’s good at those things! It’s a great thriller! I was gripped! It was tense! I just didn’t find that much literary nuance to it, you know? Things were tied up too neatly for that. The people you’d expect to die do, and they die in the ways you’d expect. The twists and turns are great twists and turns, but they’re not unpredictable, really.But as thrillers go, this is a pretty good one.

Books read: 20


One response to “Open Pit, Marguerite Pigeon

  1. I remember reviewing this two years ago for Bookstravanganza, and I’m relieved you feel similarly about it. There were a lot of times I really wanted to like it more than I did, and then moments where I did feel very absorbed.

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