The Mango Orchard: The extraordinary true story of a family lost and found by Robin Bayley

By | 21 February 2012 | 1 Response
The Mango Orchard: The extraordinary true story of a family lost and found by Robin Bayley

The Mango Orchard by Robin Bayley

A charming, entertaining and very easy to read. Perfect for the summer (if we had one!).

When Robin Bayley was little, his grandmother would regale him with stories about her father, who had gone to work in a weaving factory in Mexico. His adventures seemed so fantastical and amazing. Now an adult facing a crossroads in life, Bayley decides to set out and trace his grandfather’s steps, back to the mill near a small town near the river somewhere in Mexico. Along the way he ends up in places he doesn’t expect—Colombia, for instance!—he meets an interesting cast of characters, he falls in love, and in the end what he finds is more than he expects.

This seems like the recipe for a perfect story for me, and the author does not disappoint. Bayley’s free flowing prose is so easy to read and you are quickly drawn up into his story and adventures. He seems like an ordinary bloke caught up in a journey full of purpose, and you get caught up along with him. Through a series of seemingly random occurrences he meets Juanita, falls in love, has to leave her, ends up in Colombia in a patched-together rickety contraption over the mountains into Venezuela, then finally to Mexico where the real story begins.

Bayley’s family history also turns out to be very interesting, and I like the way he weaves his great-grandfather’s stories with what actually happens. The stories are richly told, with a touch of magic realism.

Yay or nay?

Bayley’s narrative does a good job of incorporating just a little bit of history—the significant parts—to see how this intertwines with his own. If you like your history and travel with a little bit of goss, this is perfect for you. It is charming, entertaining and very easy to read. Perfect for the summer (if we had one!).

Who might enjoy it: People who enjoy being told a good story

Who might not enjoy it: People who don’t like a bit of drama with their history

Wandergurl reviews a travel book once a month as part of Travel Tuesday (#traveltuesday).

The Mango Orchard by Robin Bayley - Australian editionThe Mango Orchard by Robin Bayley - UK edition

Title: The Mango Orchard (excerpt)
Author: Robin Bayley
Publisher: Random House
C format: 9781848092402 (15/3/2010)
A format: 9781848092242 (15/4/2011)

AUSTRALIA: Booktopia | Borders | Fishpond | Other
EBOOKS: Booku | | Kindle UK | Kindle US
WORLDWIDE: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository | Library

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Wandergurl is a sometime traveller who spends her daylight hours making sure that things go the way they're supposed to with minimum bureaucracy (don't ask!). A firm believer that thirty is the new twenty, she will probably never look her age (or act it!). An enthusiastic football supporter (that would be soccer to you) she will get up at odd hours to watch a game, and of course it's not just because the players are hot. She loves history, geography and is pretty good at trivia, thanks to her propensity to remember random bits of celebrity gossip. When not reading or travelling, she can be found indulging in her other passion -- eating -- and can be found at Wake up and smell the coffee.

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1 comment »

  1. azteclady

    How much of the story happens in Mexico? When does this happen? Being Mexican, I’m very, very leery of how foreigners write about it–probably a lot touchier than I have any right to be, but still *shrug*

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