Tatiana is a Mexican expat living in Berlin at the dawn of the 21st century, trying to distance herself from her family and avoiding the development of any new relationships. She takes a part-time job transcribing the notes of an aging historian, and becomes involved with a man she is sent to interview.
About 30 pages in, I had a suspicion and had to flip to the author biography. Yup, Chloe Aridjis is a poet. She has a PhD in poetry, actually. That's something that really shows in this novel. The prose is lovely, very heavy on the metaphors, and not particularly narrative. I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the novel - the bit about the train stations that were frozen in time was particularly striking, and I loved the story of how Jonas became obsessed with clouds. The thing is, though, there's no real conflict to this story. I never felt like we were building towards anything, and that was disappointing.
Read this if you are a poet, if you like poetic language, if you enjoy dissecting dense metaphors. If you're looking for a well-constructed plot or multi-dimensional characters, this is not the book for you.