4 out of 4 stars
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It feels like a lifetime ago that I spent a few days in Vieques. I mostly remember a bicycle ride trying, but not succeeding, to avoid potholes on the sandy roads to the beautiful beaches. A second vivid memory is a lot of loudly barking street dogs scaring me every time I went from our guesthouse to the main street. Flamboyan Street by Glenn Curry took me on a trip down memory lane.
The author tells the story of Jim Rollins, a rich man who never had to work for anything. He has a dream, a goal, and moves from Allentown, Pennsylvania, to Vieques to make his dream come true and accomplish his goal. Despite feeling prepared with all the research he did beforehand, nothing goes as planned and expected. Jim has to abandon his dream and return home or adapt to the circumstances, to the Vieques lifestyle and habits. He chooses the second option, and while doing so, he learns he is so much more than just a rich spoiled middle-aged man.
I appreciate the vivid descriptions of the island and its inhabitants. There is hardly any action in the book, perfectly reflecting the laid-back lifestyle. There are intrigue and lots of different opinions and conflicting priorities, as expected from a small community. It is easy to relate to the various characters in the book. I immediately had my likes and dislikes. The descriptions of nature and animal life make me want to go back to Vieques and stay at the guesthouse owned by the author of this book.
If I had to give one point of critique, it would be that the book is rather short. I would have loved to learn more about the community and daily life, see what happens next, how the protagonists continue their activities. Then again, it's probably a strength that the book ends when the story ends. I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars.
I read the book in hard-copy since there is no e-reader version available. It has been a while since I held an actual book, and it was an enjoyable change to reading on my Kindle. This book is small and light enough to hold with one hand while reading. I can recommend it to anyone who likes to be taken away to an exotic location while reading. It's a perfect afternoon escape for readers who enjoy small-town gossip. There were just a few minor mistakes in the book, not impacting the reading experience.
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