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I was born in Barcelona and have lived in the UK for many years now. I'm a writer, translator (English-Spanish and vice-versa) and I'm a medical doctor and worked in Forensic Psychiatry many years. I also have a BA and a PhD in American Literature and Film, and a Masters in Criminology. I've always loved books and apart from writing them I review them often. I write a bit of everything, check my books for more information and my about page for links. My blog is bilingual, English and Spanish.

Comments (20)

  1. Although the idea doesn’t immediately compel me to want to read it, there is a part of me that enjoys essentially ‘British’ novels. So my conclusion is, ‘maybe one day’, for this one.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. Thanks, Pete. I think you’d find some of the stories more likeable than others (of course), but it does show a great catalogue of life in the UK, especially women’s lives. I’m not sure what you’d think about the style, but I know you don’t shy away from non-conventional writing.
      Keep safe. 🙂

  2. Of all the books I read this year, this is the one that I know will stay with me the longest. It‘s not a perfect book (e.g., like you, I found the final twist way too obviously telegraphed), and it almost definitely helped that I had the audio version, where the fragmented nature of the written text doesn‘t make itself felt at all — but all this aside, it turned out to be one of those books that I wanted to shove into people‘s hands and tell them, you *have* to read this; for the enormous legwork it does in making the life experience of the „other“ accessible to their / our respective opposites: women to men, blacks to whites / Caucasians, gay to straight people, etc. I was deeply impressed with it and am definitely planning to read more by Evaristo (this was the first book by her that I read as well).

    1. I know what you mean, Themis Athena. It reminded me of a course I studied many years back on Black Women’s Writing and Feminist Criticism, although the fictional text didn’t cover such an expanse and variety of experiences (but I loved Ama Ata Aidoo’s ‘Our Sister Killjoy’, which also uses poetry in very interesting ways, and Tsitsi Dangarembga’s ‘Nervous Condition’). Although it is very different, recently I read ‘The Girl with the Louding Voice’ that I really enjoyed (and it uses also language in interesting ways).
      Some people are disparaging of the Booker, but it has helped me discover some authors that hadn’t reached me before, and Evaristo is one of them, for sure.
      Nice to catch up with you again. Take care. 🙂

  3. Interesting review! I think I would like to read a non-traditionally plotted book, especially one with fusion prose. I’m adding it to my TBR.

    1. I look forward to hearing what you think about it, Priscilla. It is a totally different reading experience. Take care.

  4. I listened to this on audio book and must admit I found it hard to follow with the many changes of directions. I enjoyed large segments of it but came to the conclusion I didn’t fully understand the author and her intention with this.
    Great review and a little more understanding now.

    1. Thanks, Christoph. There are some books for which perhaps a bit of an introduction would be helpful before reading them. I think the author has talked about the book in detail, but I didn’t catch any of her interviews at the time. I enjoyed the stories and wasn’t particularly concerned about how they connected, but then started noticing some links. It is one of those books that some people will love and others will find baffling, and they are both valid points of view. It all depends on each person’s expectations. If you’re looking for a standard novel or narrative, it doesn’t work, but it has much to offer as a display or choir of diverse voices. Take care and love to Ryan and the girls.

  5. An interesting review, Olga. This is not a book I would read, I won’t endorse a book with no proper punctuation even if it is a good book. There has been a call to drop punctuation in schools in South Africa, hence my strong feelings in this regard.

    1. Thanks, Robbie. I sympathise with your feelings. I think one needs to learn proper grammar and punctuation first, and later one can choose to experiment with different forms of writing, perhaps, but if you don’t have the basics right, all communication will end up distorted. Evaristo is a poet, and she knows how to use language. It seems the book has connected with a lot of people, but in the same way that she has a right to write any way she chooses, others have a right not to read her books. Take care and stay safe.

  6. This is particularly intriguing, Olga. Perceptions from one country to another vary more than most people realize. I look forward to learning more of Bernardine’s thoughts. Hugs on the wing.

    1. Thanks, Teagan. I must add there is a part that takes place mostly in the USA, and I think many of those experiences are both unique but also recognisable. Take care.

  7. dgkaye says:

    Well, I do like the unconventional Olga, so once again your insightful review has me intrigued and popping over to Amazon. LOL, thank you. <3

    1. I think you’d love this one, Debby. I know the topic is close to your heart. Keep well. ♥

      1. dgkaye says:

        You know me Olga! Thank you again <3

  8. This sounds like an outstanding read, Olga, and you’ve written a masterful review. I also love the cover. Toni x

    1. Thanks, Toni. Yes, it is a very special book. Covers vary between the different editions, but they are all quite good. Have a good week!

  9. Wendy Janes says:

    Great review, Olga. I’m looking forward to reading this book. It’s been sitting on my bedside table for far too long!

    1. It happened to me as well, Wendy, and I think it was a review that reminded me it was time to read it. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. Take care.

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