The Silk Road begins on a mat in yoga class, deep within a labyrinth on a settlement somewhere in the icy north, under the canny guidance of Jee Moon. When someone fails to arise from corpse pose, the Astronomer, the Archivist, the Botanist, the Keeper, the Topologist, the Geographer, the Iceman, and the Cook remember the paths that brought them there―paths on which they still seem to be traveling.
... gorgeous and confounding ... The Silk Road reads like a mystery novel at a slant ... [Reading the book feels like being] stretched and suspended over the abyss, jumping from one place (the labyrinth) to another (the Aubrac region of France), having the past folded into the present until you can’t tell them apart, seeing characters blend and blur ... Davis’s descriptive gifts are abundant ... Radiant and endlessly shifting, sensitive to outer form and inner reality, wildly and beautifully impenetrable: that’s as good a paraphrase of this splendid, poetic novel of ideas as you’ll get.
... even more metaphysical and experimental than [the author's previous works] ... The Silk Road merits being read twice, not because there is more joy to be found in the language once you know where the story is going but because there is something else to be found once you surrender to a journey without a destination ... Davis’s language has been compared to music, and though she can craft a lyrical sentence... much of the writing here reads more like an oblique spiritual handbook ... The Silk Road is unlikely to make its way onto any best-seller lists. And yet, for those willing to get lost in its spiritual haze, there is a uniquely un-2019 pleasure to be found: a meditative bewilderment that just might cede to enlightenment.
Kathryn Davis’ works blend the familiar with the disquieting, the archetypal with the experimental. The Silk Road takes this tendency to its apex ... No two readers may interpret this book the same way, or even close to it — but these unexpected and unruly juxtapositions carry plenty of emotional power and philosophical provocation.