The Read Around The World Book Club discussion

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message 1: by Melanie (new)

Melanie | 338 comments Mod
Final thoughts?


message 2: by Jo (new)

Jo | 37 comments I finished a day or so ago and have sat with it for a bit. I was so engaged in the story, in the escalation of events and knowing it’s not going to end well. The prose style that took me a while to get used to is actually really effective and seems to differ between the characters, Eve’s sentences are far shorter than say Clelio’s.

This sense of a living in a place that is basically a prison you are trying to escape worked really well and even though this is a modern story, there is something timeless about it in the whole revenge, star crossed lovers, people rising up against authority aspects.

I just found it really powerful and Eve’s treatment by men and her family so heart breaking, the way that she and her body are two separate things and I loved the image of her as a lioness at the end. Great read.


message 3: by Beatrizmallow (new)

Beatrizmallow | 36 comments Mod
I've needed a couple of weeks to decide what to say about this one. It was such a powerful book. On the one hand I think we have to mention the writing and the language because they were so beautiful and so captivating, it was obvious from page one that the author is a poet.

That said this was painful to read, I was very inmersed in the story an felt a lot for the characters and was angry that they went through what they go through and couldn't help but constantly think of the real people living like that every day.

I gave it four stars because the style conquered me and despite how difficult it was I'm glad I read it.


message 4: by Marie (new)

Marie (marieemonaghan) | 59 comments I think I would maybe prefer to read this author’s poems. I highlighted so many beautiful passages and phrases. But taken as a whole, it felt a little bit bleak for bleakness’ sake. I’m not sure what I learned other than that life is pretty horrendous if you are poor and especially if you are a woman. Similar stories have been told elsewhere with more complexity and deeper exploration of the moral, societal, emotional issues. But I guess the complexity here is in the language rather than the narrative. I think I am always expecting books to make me think or challenge my viewpoint in some way, rather than enjoying prose purely for its beauty. I need to get better at this.

I disagreed with the translator’s note at the end:
“her novels, rather, embrace the entirety of human experience, from abject suffering to unalloyed joy.”
This was a pretty joyless story!

Jo, you are quite right about the timeless nature of this book. It also felt placeless (?) to me, in that I didn’t really get a strong sense of Mauritius, but you could transplant Eve to an impoverished community in many a country, and the story would still fit. A novella of the world. Saad says this nicely:
“I want to talk about these places that exist outside time, that murder us. I mean these places that stubbornly repress all that we are.”


message 5: by Jo (new)

Jo | 37 comments Marie, I agree with you about the translators note, in fact I almost felt after reading it that he hadn't read the same book. That's also a good point about the placeless aspect of the book, apart from the name of the area, nothing really identified this as Mauritius but then the whole atmosphere is so claustrophobic, as though you can't see out to the lands beyond.

I'm a bit of a sucker for language but I don't think it's a negative to want more from a book and I wonder if her poems are as bleak although I'm sure they are as beautiful.


message 6: by Britta (new)

Britta Böhler | 51 comments I finished yesterday and although I can see why many readers love this book, the overly poetic language didn't work for me. It made the characters less distinct (at least for me) and detached me from the emotional impact of the story.
I agree with Marie that I would probably prefer to read her poetry. Still, I'm glad that I've read the book.

Oh, and: Merry Christmas everybody!


message 7: by Jo (new)

Jo | 37 comments Merry Christmas Everybody!


message 8: by Melanie (new)

Melanie | 338 comments Mod
Merry Christmas to you lovely lot


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