When I picked up Undiscovered Country I was hoping for the same sort of introspective journey as Wild or Eat, Pray, Love, fictionalized, of course. As the premise is similar, a woman suffers loss and leaves home hoping to find herself in a foreign land, I expected a similar experience.
This book is told through alternating chapters - before Cat's mother's death and after. I really enjoyed the chapters before her mother died, learning about their relationship and why it was so difficult for Cat to simply move on after her death. The chapters after, when Cat moves to a fictionalized war-torn, third world country in South America were more difficult for me. Cat meets a cast of "characters" there, and I say "characters" because that's what they felt like to me instead of real people. It was almost as if the author was simply checking boxes - white Christian, overachieving Asian, rich gay guy... you get the idea. Of course, each of them has signed on to the Students Without Borders program for their own reasons, my problem was none of them seemed like they really wanted to be there. And none of them for the right reason, which was to actually HELP the country's residents.
And then, of course, there's Cat's love interest Rafael. My issue with their relationship is that neither learns anything from the other. Cat blindly goes along with his militant agenda instead of growing as a person. Their relationship felt authentic but didn't actually move Cat's story arc along.
In all, this book was enjoyable, I just wish the author had done MORE with each of the characters (and especially Cat) to have them learn something valuable by the end.