Publication Date: September, 2010
Received From: Bought
Page Count: 416
He appears out of the sea, washed up naked, in the treacherous Straits of Gibraltar. Seemingly delirious, and claiming to be Christopher Columbus, he is taken to an insane asylum in Seville, where astonishingly he starts to reveal the true story of how he set sail on behalf of the Spanish queen five hundred years ago.
Consuela, a nurse at the Institute, is charged with helping him back to reality. She listens to his fantastic tales in the hope of discovering th truth. But as his story unfolds, she finds herself falling for her patient – no longer able to tell where truth ends and fantasy begins.
Meanwhile, across the continent, Emile Germaine is involved in a different search. He’s an Interpol officer on the hunt for a missing person, presumed dangerous. He’s a determined man, and when is investigation leads to Spain these two stories collide.
Part romance, part mysterious thriller, this is a rich and emotional novel about love, loss, and the fragile beauty of our own life stories.
Waiting for Columbus was the first book selected for a book club some friends and I have set up. It wasn’t my selection and not something I would usually choose to read but nonetheless, the synopsis sounded good and I was intrigued to start reading.
This is the story of a man who is found washed up off the Straits of Gibraltar. Claiming that he is Christopher Columbus, he is taken to a mental asylum in Spain. This man is well and truly convinced that he is the real Christopher Columbus and tells his nurse Consuela tales full of adventure and romance. This is the story of a man who struggles through his hidden heartbreak to try to get a grip on his reality.
The premise of the storyline is definitely an intriguing one. It raises questions such as: who is this man and what is his story? It is obvious that he is not Christopher Columbus as the story is set in contemporary times. However the tales the man tells his nurse are full of such detail and heart, that if it wasn’t for the occasional time anomalies within them, you might begin to question this. It was these tales that I enjoyed most about the book. Their detail captured me and I found that I wanted to know more and more about ‘Columbus’ as the story progressed.
The character of ‘Columbus’ was the only one that held my interest. I felt the other characters were not as strong in comparison. For instance, Consuela was ok yet alongside ‘Columbus’, her character lacked something for me. Yet, I can appreciate that without her or the other characters, the story may not have worked.
Reading this story may take a lot of thought and patience – it certainly did for me! There were points when I wondered if I’d make it to the end but I persevered. The storyline definitely got better for me the further I read and the mystery surrounding ‘Columbus’ intensified. I really wanted to find out who ‘Columbus’ was.
The ending of the story sure enough revealed all but I couldn’t help but feel a little let down. For some the conclusion might suffice but for me, it felt as though a lot of effort and detail has been put into the build-up of the story while the ending was left short.
I certainly don’t regret taking the time to read ‘Waiting for Columbus’ and there were parts I really enjoyed. If the ending was better, my rating would have been higher. I recommend giving this book a try if the synopsis intrigues you. I feel that this is a book you will either love or hate. I remain on the fence.