The Zig Zag Way by Anita Desai

About the book

In The Zigzag Way, the critically acclaimed novelist Anita Desai offers a gorgeously nuanced story of expatriates and travelers adrift in an unfamiliar land. Eric, a young American historian, has come to Mexico on his first trip abroad. His search for his immigrant family’s roots brings him to a town in the Sierrra Madre, where a hundred years earlier Cornish miners toiled without relief. Here the suspiciously enigmatic Dona Vera, the fierce Austrian widow of a mining baron, has become a local legend, but her reputation for philanthropy glosses over a darker history. A haunting, powerful novel that culminates on the Day of the Dead, The Zigzag Way examines the subtle interplay between past and present.

Reviewed by Southampton U3A Reading Group:

Of the group (10 members) 2 rated it 3 stars, 1 was absent, 6 were unimpressed with the novel, which they thought didn’t actually ‘say’ anything or come to a satisfactory conclusion.

Star rating: **

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2 thoughts on “The Zig Zag Way by Anita Desai”

  1. Review by Wednesday Reading Group:
    Positive comments about the descriptive passages and unusual vocabulary. Less keen on the storyline and characters. Zig Zag refers to the time line of the book too? Eric an annoying character.
    Star rating: **/***

  2. Review by Entre Nous Reading Group:
    Although aware of Anita Desai’s descriptive powers, most of us were underwhelmed by this book. Some fascinating storylines (e.g. about the Huichol Indians in Mexico) which could have been further developed – most interesting was the story of the Cornish miners going to Mexico to mine silver.
    Star rating: *

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