Book Review: The Cenote

March 18, 2016

The Cenote
Chelsea Dyreng
264 pages
Hard Copy Edition, in exchange for honest review

From the Publisher:

Forced to marry a complete stranger, Sandpiper tries to adjust to life in her new village. But the mysterious Cenote, a great pool of water, has bewitched the men of the village, and Sandpiper must know why. This moving story of romance and redemption serves as an allegory with a timely message. Filled with drama and heart, it’s a book you won’t soon forget.


Let me just start out by saying – this review is going to be gushing about how good this book was. I like a lot of books that I review.  I give out a lot of five stars, but this is one of my favorites of the year so far. Once I started it I could not put it down.  I read it all in one day!  I loved the story and theme of this book, but it goes beyond that, too – there were so many clever lines, and writing just made me smile.

The story is narrated back and forth between Sandpiper (or Piper) and Lark, her new husband. I love being able to read and see the story through both points of view.  It as the perfect mixture.  Piper is such a complex character.  Once she is forced to marry this stranger and move to a different village she decides not to speak.  It’s hard to talk about this without giving away too much, but it’s interesting to see how she communicates and how everyone still grows to love her and accept her despite this. Lark is a interesting character as well.  I felt so sorry for him, and it took maybe half the book to grow to love his character the way that he was.  And then I loved him!  There is a scene when Lark’s mother (Cedar) and Piper are in the garden and Cedar talks about her two sons and their differences.  I loved this.  Cedar was such a good strong mother figure in this story.  The women in this story were all strong amazing women!

There is so much wisdom in this book.  It discusses redemption and forgiveness and love.  It is a parable that you can learn so much from. But it isn’t preachy or “fluffy” either – the characters are deep and enjoyable. They make me laugh and cry. I believe I could read it again and again and get more out of it each time! I had so many favorite lines in this book, but I believe my hands down favorite came towards the end;

“Now I knew that the deepest, most powerful love stories did not happen before the wedding but after.”

I have such a hard time reviewing it without giving everything about it away – thus it would make an excellent book club book. This is a book that should be discussed and talked about.  Anyone else want to read this and talk about it with me!!! There are even questions at the end of the book, so it’s all set up for a book club!

This book should be on your to-be-read list as soon as possible!  It is amazing and I think we could all learn something from it.

Totally go to Amazon and check out this book – I think everyone would enjoy it.  Next week I’m going to host an author interview from Chelsea and (hint hint) might have this book as part of my last Birthday Month giveaway!

Leave me a comment and tell me if you’ve read this book! I would love to hear your thoughts!

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  1. Reply


    I felt the same way about this book and similarly loved the parts you mentioned. Can’t wait for her interview!

  2. Reply

    Author Interview: Chelsea Dyreng – My Reading Spot

    […] you missed my review last week of The Cenote, then you might not know how much I loved this new book that I recently […]

  3. Reply

    Book Review: The Last Messenger of Zitol – My Reading Spot

    […] stay with me.  I read her first novel, The Cenote this spring and fell in love with her writing. (you can read my review for that book here) She has a talent for weaving these amazing stories that teach powerful lessons and leave you […]

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