Through These Veins takes the reader from Ethiopia to Washington, D.C. following the journey of a plant which holds the possibility of saving countless lives. A medicine man's daughter, an Italian scientist, and an employee of a pharmaceutical research company are brought together in unexpected ways as the research becomes a personal quest.
I received a copy of Through These Veins from the publicist/author to review.
Through These Veins sounded like an intriguing book as I wondered what could connect a medicine man's daughter and an Italian research scientist beyond his time in her area of Ethiopia. While there was a connection when they met and then again later on in the book when their lives connect again, I think I was expecting more during the middle section of the book based on the description.
The best parts of the book for me were the time spent in Ethiopia, both in the beginning with Zahara and her father and then when Ruth and Stefano return and see the devastation, and the last portion of the book when Ruff takes the reader through the politics of the pharmaceutical industry. The two sections provide a great contrast and social commentary.
Unfortunately, the middle was slow going for me. As the characters moved on their own paths with seemingly no connections I found myself reading sections and wondering why the author was including some scenes at all. Now it did turn out that some of the information and detail included in that section was actually critical to events unfolding as they did later on in the book but at the time, to me, it didn't seem like important material.
Overall I enjoyed the book even through there were sections I struggled to get through.
About the Book:
In the coffee-growing highlands of Ethiopia, an Italian scientist on a plant collecting expedition discovers a local medicine man dispensing an apparent cure for AIDS. As the medicine man’s teenage daughter reveals the plants behind the cure, their lives become irrevocably intertwined. Through These Veins weaves together the dramatically different worlds of traditional healing, U.S. government funded AIDS research, and the pharmaceutical industry in an intensely personal, fast-paced tale of scientific intrigue and love, with both devastating and hopeful effect.
All profits from the sale of this book will be distributed to the Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines of Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders and the Institute of Biodiversity Conservation in Ethiopia.
About the Author:
Anne Marie Ruff has reported on AIDS research, drug development, biodiversity conservation, and agriculture from Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and East Africa. Her work has been broadcast by National Public Radio, Public Radio International, the British Broadcasting Corporation, and PBS TV. Her articles have appeared in Time, Christian Science Monitor, and Saveur among other publications. Through These Veins is Anne Marie's first novel.
Please visit www.annemarieruff.com to learn more about the book and Anne Marie.
Note: All opinions presented in book and product reviews are my own. Opinions presented in posts authored by others reflect the view of the author only and not necessarily my view or opinion. If a product was given to me for review, the source of that product is noted in the post. Amazon and Book Depository links are affiliate links and I do earn a small amount for each purchase. Other affiliate links will be noted in the post.