This was a very "meh" book.
The story fluctuates back and forth between two stories, and although those stories are ultimately tied together, only one actually has an ending. It was incredibly frustrating to only have closure on the half of the story focused on Elena's father.
There was some nice scenery in the descriptions of the various islands and the religious ceremony, and I found myself really interested in the earthquake part of the story. But every time Elena came back, I groaned. She was so incredibly indecisive throughout the entire book, and that never changed. Despite what she felt for Ben, she ends up letting her fiancee that she doesn't really like make decisions for her. Actually, most of the book is Elena not being able to make a decision, and asking other people to tell her what to do.
There's a scene where she and Ben are discussing karma and Zen. She's a huge fan of both, and asks for Ben's take on them. He explains that he doesn't believe in karma, or in reincarnation, instead seeing the world as one entire living organism, with every creature making up a piece of that whole. Despite just saying that she loved the idea of karma, she instantly changes her mind to incorporate Ben's beliefs.
This book probably would have been stronger if it had focused more on Elena's father, and less on her. I can see the need for her as a character to be the outsider looking in on her father overcoming his emotional baggage, but why throw in a romantic affair when it isn't going anywhere?