I didn’t expect to read A Land Without Sin in a weekend, so be warned. This is a well-crafted and very compelling novel.

The storyline is pretty basic, when I think about it: main character Eva is trying to find her missing brother Stefan. It involves a journey through Central America, some flirting with politics at a level I’m pretty sure I just don’t appreciate, and examination of faith and relationships.

There are some characters in this novel that I’d like to meet in real life, which is a testament to Huston’s writing. I have vivid mental images of them: I can hear their distinct voices, see their faces, picture what they’d do.

I’ve been a fan of Huston’s nonfiction work for a while, and I was delighted that her fiction-telling is as good (or better?) than her other writing. I felt like I had traveled to Mexico and was crawling through the jungle, even as I related with the main character, Eva.

This is a book that keeps it real and, though the ending isn’t depressing, it’s also not a song-and-dance-happy-snappy-eyeroll affair. I must say, I appreciated that.

Highly recommended, and a book I’ll be recommending to my fiction book club, sharing with friends, and that has my name in the front cover (because yes, I want to reread it).

Read for the Patheos Book Club, but I would have read it anyway and loved it no less.