A Place In the World

Author: Cinda Crabbe MacKinnon

ISBN 978-0-98884-830-6 (softcover)

340 pages

Alicia, a young American expat, marries Colombian Jorge Carvallo and they settle on his family’s remote coffee finca (farm) in the Andes. Educated as a biologist, she revels in the surrounding cloud-forest. However, following an idyllic year, calamities strike one after another and their marriage begins to unravel. Jorge leaves as a volcanic eruption nearly destroys the coffee crop and the threat of guerrillas and drug-lords looms; but headstrong Alicia refuses to budge and stays to salvage the coffee.

A woman without a country in a man’s world, the initially naïve Alicia survives by her wit and determination. A passionate affair ensues with Peter, a rugged geologist. She also forms a tight friendship with Carmen, the barefoot woman who has worked for the Carvallo family most of her life. Despite being separated by class and nationality, these two single mothers forge a strong bond.

The intricate web of events climaxes when Alicia finds herself in a life-threatening situation, ultimately forcing her to come to terms with herself and the unconventional life she has adopted.


Cinda Crabbe MacKinnon grew up in Latin America. She began telling stories to her little brother when they were children in Bogota. Her experiences and love for the people, culture and natural setting of Colombia resulted in her novel, A Place in the World. A writer, university lecturer, and environmental scientist, she has an MS in geology and a longtime passion for botany. This background enabled her to weave details into her writing on tropical nature and geology, as well as Colombian society. Cinda has published articles in local newspapers and journals on environmental topics, as well as an award winning short story. She received the William Penn Mott Jr. Award for her environmental work on local creeks. In her spare time she volunteers for Guide Dogs for the Blind and the California Native Plant Society. She lives in northern California with her husband and their golden retriever.X

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