The Shade Under The Mango Tree by Evy Journey

Hello, My Love! (Book 1) review HERE
Hello, Agnieszka! (Book 2) review HERE
Welcome, Reluctant Stranger! (Book 3) review HERE
Sugar and Spice and All Those Lies review HERE

Synopsis -

Gold medalist in Contemporary Fiction at the New York City Book Awards for indie books.

After two heartbreaking losses, Luna wants adventure. Something and somewhere very different from the affluent, sheltered home in California and Hawaii where she grew up. An adventure in which she can also make some difference.

Lucien, a worldly, well-traveled young architect, finds a stranger’s journal at a café. Though he has qualms and pangs of guilt about reading it, they don’t stop him. His decision changes his life forever.
Months later, they meet at a bookstore. Fascinated by his stories and adventurous spirit, Luna goes on a Peace Corps stint to a rural rice-growing village in Cambodia. There, she finds a world steeped in ancient culture and the lasting ravages of a deadly history. Will she leave this world unscathed?
An epistolary tale of courage, resilience, and the bonds that bring diverse people together.

Review - 

This is the 5th book I've read by this author. It's actually been a few years since my last one, so I was excited to see how it compared to the others. It is similar in that love is a focus, as is the exposure to other cultures.  It looks at life through the eyes of a 2 people struggling with life's challenges and to find their way. How it differs is the much more complex way the writer has chosen to frame it.

The Shade Under the Mango Tree is a bit confusing for the first several chapters. The story is told mostly from 2 perspectives - that of Luna and Lucien. It opens with a death that occurs later in the timeline, then returns to an earlier time when Luna is a tween visiting Hawaii and the grandmother she lived with when young. Journey was able to bring the feel of the beautiful Hawaiian culture and food.  Then Luna moves to California to live with her parents - a difficult adjustment. As she leaves, her grandmother gives her a journal to write in that becomes the launching point for what is to come. 

Lucien comes into the story when he discovers Luna's journal left at a table in a coffee shop. Luna disappears for a bit. The viewpoint switches to Lucien's thoughts as he reads the journal and begins to question some of his choices. Then by accident they meet. From here we move back and forth between the two viewpoints. 

This book shares the story of 2 people who hold themselves separate from the world who after meeting, struggle to bring the walls down and allow love in.  It is a story of separation as Luna going to Cambodia with the Peace Corps for 2 years where readers are drawn into this country's culture and history, and a violent tragedy occurs. And the story touches on how tragedy can have long term effects, and explores the question of how to heal. While a bit complicated for a few chapters, it is beautifully written and contains all the elements I loved in her previous books. 

Buy the Book: Amazon ~ B&N ~ KoboApple iBooks

Meet the Author - 
2015 Author Interview on her journey to writing HERE!

Evy Journey writes. Stories and blog posts. Novels that tend to cross genres. She’s also a wannabe artist and a flâneuse. Evy studied psychology (Ph.D. University of Illinois) so she spins tales about nuanced characters dealing with the problems and issues of contemporary life. She believes in love and its many faces. Though she has traveled to many places, she has one ungranted wish: To live in Paris where art is everywhere and people have honed aimless roaming to an art form. She visits and stays a few months.

Connect with the Author: website ~ facebook ~ pinterest ~ twitter


  1. May pleasure. I always love your wonderful books!

  2. Replies
    1. Enjoyed it. Just took a few chapters to get the story really rolling. There are links to other reviews I did for this author above. I really enjoyed the 3 book series.

  3. Thanks for sharing this awesome book rec!


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