This is from an advance review copy for which I thank the publisher.
I was disappointed in this story. From the misleading blurb I'd assumed it was about a mysterious black woman named Hilary Anson from apartheid-riven South Africa who moved to Canada and later disappeared, leaving a murder behind her. Sam Mitchell, who Hilary helped with his learning to ride a horse, later sets out for South Africa to solve the 'mystery' of her disappearance like it's any of his business.
I went into this under the impression that this would all take place when Sam was an adult, but after reading a third of the story and seeing it go literally nowhere, I DNF'd it. It was boring. The characters are uninteresting, and literally nothing was happening. Even by a third the way through, it had not even remotely progressed to the point where, as an older man, he decided to investigate her disappearance. I have better things to do with my time than read ponderous, pedantic, and sluggish novels like this which seem to promise one thing and deliver quite another.
Hilary wasn't black, she was white, which for this particular story framework reduced my interest significantly. The entire first third of the story switch-backed between her time in South Africa - the easily-manipulated, spineless and wayward daughter of a wealthy rancher, and her time teaching Sam how to ride his horse during her 'exile' in Canada. Throughout this entire time there was no mystery to solve and nothing whatsoever that was new, original, engaging, or even appealing. We never actually got to know Hilary at all. Everything we read about her was vague allusion, with nothing really happening and no information as to why Canada had been her destination; Canada being nothing like South Africa.
From what little I learned of her, I developed no interest at all in getting to know this foolish and clueless girl better, so it was of no consequence to me that she later disappeared. I honestly didn't care. Sam was a complete non-entity, and what I read of him in that first third offered no reason at all why he should go off to South Africa looking for her or why I should care if he did. Maybe things happened later, but an entire third of a novel to read through without anything of interest occurring was way too much of my time wasted and I frankly did not care what came next. In short, there was nothing about either of these characters that appealed to me or invited me to continue reading and I had no idea what the title had to do with the novel! I normally avoid books with this kind of a pretentious John Green-style title, so I guess I learned my lesson!
Frankly I had wanted to quit this long before I did, but I kept reading on in the hope it might improve. In the end it was a classic example of the sunk cost fallacy where people believe that if they have invested a certain amount in something, they need to stick with it. Well, I don't subscribe to that delusion and while I was willing to go a little further since this is an ARC, I didn't sign up to be bored to death. This just goes to show that you should go with your first instinct. If a novel starts out unappealingly, it's highly unlikely to turn around no matter how much more you read. I wish the author all the best, but I cannot recommend this based on what I read.