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Mona in Three Acts

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  7,640 ratings  ·  651 reviews

In this international bestseller, a woman comes of age in a poignant novel about forgiveness, pain, and self-discovery.

Mona’s demanding mother ruled their home until a car crash took her life and changed their family forever. Left to tend to a distant father and a needy younger brother, Mona finds her new role almost too much to bear. And when a new stepmother, troubled and depressed,

Kindle Edition, 402 pages
Published November 12th 2019 by Amazon Crossing (first published September 26th 2014)
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Average rating 3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,640 ratings  ·  651 reviews

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Angela M
3.5 stars but not quite 4 for me.

Every now and then, I read a book by an author from another country that was published in the language of that country and translated into English. When I do I often wonder if the translated version reflects what the author intended or reflects how good the writing might have been in the original language. I can’t say I was taken by the writing, but I was by the story. I was drawn to read this because of my friend Jaidee’s beautiful and powerful revie
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those reflecting on their own life trajectory
Recommended to Jaidee by: kismet
Shelves: five-stars-books
5 "superlative, heartbreakingly funny and sad" stars !!!

Thank you to Netgalley, Amazon Crossing and the author for this book. I am offering this review in exchange.

Wow and whew !

This book was originally published in 2014 in Belgium and its English translation is due out in November 2019.

This book is about Mona. Middle-class Mona. Creative and loving Mona. Mona who struggles with her self-worth, her identity and her ability to be independent. We see Mona at three points in her life. As a young child who is lov
Elyse (retired from reviewing/semi hiatus) Walters
I was excited to read this book.... I’ve enjoy other books from the Netherlands.
Belgium is bordered by the Netherlands.
So, as soon as I learned about this book - [Thank You, Jaidee...>her review and passion for this book is heartfelt and wonderful], .....I downloaded a copy myself.

“Mona In Three Acts” was ‘surprisingly’ much longer than other novels I’ve read from this region of the world. I felt it was too long. The translation was fine...but there were pages upon pages of
Renee Godding
Rating: 3/5 stars
ARC provided by publisher

Mona in Three Acts is the first novel by well-known Flemish author Griet Op de Beeck to be translated into English, and the first one I read both in translation, as well as in its original Dutch. Many thanks to the publisher AmazonCrossing for providing me with an early copy of the former.

As with most of Griet Op de Beecks books, Mona in Three Acts is a literary contemporary novel, that centres around coming of age in a slightly dysfunctional family-unit
Apr 13, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dutch, family-life
Family life: it’s complicated, part 2
Last week I read Celeste NG's Everything I Never Told You, a very successful evocation of a family that is shattered by the death of one of the children. Ng portrayed very nicely how not talking about tricky issues (in her case gender and race related), and constantly adapting to avoid discussions, can lead to a dramatic result (see my review . This novel by the Flemish author Greet Op de Beeck ties in perfectly with that. For her too, it is all about a family
Vic Van
Apr 02, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Nope. She didn't convince with this novel either. For some reason, I find her characters hard to relate to. Although I am not averse to novels relating the misery and hardship, the grief and sadness that some people are repeatedly confronted with in life, I got annoyed by the downcast atmosphere of the book.
Maybe I have seen too much already due to my profession, but at no point was I moved in any way.
No, I find it very hard to understand all the praise this book has been given so far. ...more
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me a while to get into this novel of family dynamics and family dysfunction, but I found it exerted more and more of a grip on me as the narrative progressed and by the end I was fully invested in the characters and felt great empathy for them. As the title suggests, the story is in three parts, the first being set in Mona’s childhood, the second when she is in her twenties and the third in her thirties. It was the first part I had the most trouble with as everything is seen through the ...more
Lien Braeckevelt
Oct 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sophie Anna
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ruth Parker
Mona in Three Acts follows our title character Mona through three different stages in her life. She is a tragic figure and her hardships in life are shown throughout the novel. The eldest of three children, Mona has trouble adapting after her mother's untimely death and we read about her family dysfunction which impacts her life, following how she adapts and copes with these circumstances.

This book was a bit of a struggle to get through. I didn't feel much of a connection with any characters an
Logan Landman
Very boring read was hard to get trough. The idea was nice but not very well worked out
Mieke Breuning
Feb 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Must-read for any eldest daughter in the family. Written in near-staccato sentences, evoking the loneliness one feels when you have to be the "oldest end therefore the wisest" daughter in the family.
Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Marieke by: Carolina Mout
What a great book. Recently I am becoming more and more aware of the irreversible damage that is done to people during their childhood. Not talking about 'difficult' subjects leaves scars deeper than cuts with a knife.
Oct 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oooh, Mona.
Beautiful book. Bit sad, felt melancholic while reading it (most of it at least) , but beautiful.
Pratiksha Rath
Well, i guess not a book for me.
Mar 17, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Lolly K Dandeneau
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
via my blog:
'Lying is a national sport in our family. We learned it when we were little and it’s gotten into our bodies like blood and water for other people.'

Mona in three acts is an emotional journey, maybe too downhearted and crawling for some readers but it clicked with me. This is a novel about the way we are shaped by our families, not often for the best. Three Acts, part one and it is 1976 when Mona says, “They say your eyes get used to the dark”, from a tiny room in the c
Lucy Goodfellow
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: literally anyone
This is one of my favourite books I've read this year.

I absolutely loved everything about this book, its complexity, character progression and lack thereof.
The stagnancy in which Mona leads her everyday life is compelling and drives the story as she becomes something of a spectator in her own life. We, as the reader watch she ages and is aged by the world around her in three very different periods of her life. Making for a story that could rival that of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo in the way
ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Mona in Three Acts was originally written by Griet Op De Beeck and later translated from Flemish to English. Since Dutch is my first language and that is very similar to Flemish, I could really tell at times that it was a translation. The way certain things are explained as well as certain sayings reflected the original language quite a bit. It was very recognisable for me, which I thought was fun.

The story is about Mona and
Oct 14, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, netgalley
Thank you to AmazonCrossing and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This contemporary novel centers around coming of age in a dysfunctional family, and shows how events in our childhood shape how we think, act and interact as adults. The story is told in three acts from the POV of Mona - as a young child of 9, as a young woman in her late 20s, and eleven years later. The author does a remarkable job of capturing the thoughts and feelings for Mona in each time period
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“People being angry with me, I really can’t handle that.” This explains Mona completely. She can’t have people being angry with her so she just says and does what people would like for her to do! Mona in Three Acts is the story of Mona coming of age. The story starts with her as a child, with a mother who is way too hard on her and favors her brother over Mona, and a father who works all the time and is never around. When her mother passes, her father moves on to Marie. Marie has all kinds of is ...more
Bex Wiles
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't quite put into words the quiet power of this book; Mona is such a likeable character and yet someone you really feel for as well. The author articulates beautifully the feeling of powerlessness caused by emotionally demanding relationships and also captures the poignancy in the mundane parts of everyday life. The characters and the relationships between them are believably complex.

I recommend this book very highly and look forward to reading more by Griet Op de Beeck.

Thank you to NetGa
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Whuw. That was excellent. I feel like starting over again !

I still have some difficulties with the cover picture though, as I suppose it would need to represent Vincent and Marie, but I imagine Marie very differently and not with swollen feet...
At the start the cover actually discouraged me a bit from reading it,... now i understand it has the right symbolic value, but still, for me it does not really match my feeling for this book.

Enough complaining , this was extremely excellent. Griet is a
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, thank you for this amazing revelations of what is worth and how much one person would be worth truly, if s/he dared to believe and to risk more. This book somehow filled the space of "conscientious learnings" I've been doing lately to pull myself from under some sort of weird rubble.

This is a book about childhood gone wring and children growing up too fast, about parents who are qasting their time on nothing instead of caring and raising happy and responsible children to adulthood.
LianaReads blog
Oct 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars
“Thanks NetGalley and the publisher for my review copy “

Although I had a hard time to get into the story at the beginning, in the first act as the title suggests as well, the story picks up a lot after the second part and it makes good and reliable points in a young woman life nowadays. The way she sees life now and how she got there, her upbringing was an interesting read overall, heartbreaking at times but as said, reliable.
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a wonderful explosion of emotions and family dynamics. The writing style is beautiful and inviting , full of tremendous metaphors and descriptions. This book draws you into the heart of Mona's family which is filled with trauma, dysfunctional parents, stepmother and siblings. I felt like cheering when Mona eventually gains insight into what life and love could mean for her thus breaking her free from the embedded belief that she should placate and make everyone else happy. A great read.
Jul 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.75 stars rounded up! Mona in Three Acts is a tragic story outlining important years in Mona's life. It shows how events in our childhood will shape how we interact as adults. Important people in her life would constantly manipulate her into being who they wanted her to be, and finally at the end she grabs hold of her life and happiness and makes a 180 towards happiness.
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mona in Three Acts will be in my top ten books this year, My heart ached and I was horrified. I laughed and cried. I know a Mona. But this book, it demands to be read. Thank you for opportunity tonread for a fair review.
Mar 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4,5 stars.. if it only were possible
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