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Hot Milk
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Archive: Other Books > Hot Milk by Deborah Levy - 3 Stars

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message 1: by Olivermagnus (last edited Oct 10, 2016 05:20PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

 Olivermagnus (lynda214) | 1944 comments This book is narrated by Sophie, a half-Greek anthropology student who has given up a doctorate to care for her English mother. Her mother's paralysis has baffled several British doctors so she has rented a house in Spain where she can consult Dr. Gomez, a man who is supposed to be able to treat her mysterious illness. While Sophie spends her days at the beach waiting for her mother, she meets Ingrid, a girl from Berlin, whom she initially mistakes for a man. She also meets Ingrid's American boyfriend, Matthew, as well as Juan, a man who treats her jellyfish stings and becomes her lover. After a while Sophie decides to visit her absent father in Greece where she meets his young wife and her new baby sister. The writing style has a vague dreamlike quality about it.

Shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker Prize, this book is receiving glowing reviews from everyone. I'm sure they are well deserved. Maybe I had too high of an expectation based on those reviews because I just didn't really like either the story or the characters, with the exception of Dr. Gomez. I found it dull, depressing and very difficult to connect with. I'm sure I'm in the minority but the best part of the book for me was when I finally closed the cover.


Booknblues | 5496 comments I;m afraid that would be my reaction as well.


Susie | 4488 comments I'm sorry to hear you didn't love it. As you know I'm not loving another popular favourite so I feel your pain!


 Olivermagnus (lynda214) | 1944 comments I always feel bad when I don't love a book that so many PBT'ers really like. I think if I go back and reread some of them, I'll discover some aspects I totally missed. I hope you enjoy it when you get a chance to read it.


message 5: by Amy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy | 8282 comments I love to hear why folks loved the ones I didn't care as much for an inevitably, it always raises my appreciation of it. I felt that way about Fates and Furies. The more people discussed it in depth, the more I came to appreciate it. That's been true if others that were popular that I didn't care for. So Hot Milk it is. Hoping Susie, if Gentleman hasn't suited you thus far, that Signature is hitting better notes.


message 6: by Karin (last edited Oct 11, 2016 09:34AM) (new)

Karin | 6920 comments This sounds about how I would react, and I am not planning on reading it since I would probably give it 2 stars based on what I've read about it so far.


message 7: by Anita (last edited Oct 12, 2016 02:11PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anita Pomerantz | 6276 comments Awww, I'm bummed you didn't like this one more, Olivermagnus, but I do think I understand where you are coming from.

The pacing on this story is slow and the subject matter is dark . . .not in a graphic way, but in a subtle one, so I can see it turning people off.

Personally, I thought the languid feel to the book fit the locale and the whole story. I really, really related to Sophie - - so that helped me enjoy the book more. I'm a child of divorce, and I basically RAN to share this book with my closest friend here in Baltimore who is also a child of divorce. I'm a little nervous because my book club is planning to read it now, and I don't know if they will feel the same way.

I also thought the symbolism was intriguing - - but you know you really have to be in an "English major" mood to appreciate that stuff . . .

Sorry it wasn't better for you, but I'm sure you won't be alone. It does make it extra hard when a book is hyped, and then you read it . . .of course your expectations will be elevated. How could they not be?

I do think it is so valuable to share counterpoint reviews here though so that people can read both sides and assess whether a book is truly for them!


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