These books deserve thorough reviews but I also really want to be done with 2020. So, for the sake of completeness, quick reviews of the books I read in November and December last year –
The Weight of Love by Hilary Fannin
This character-driven story explores how we love; who we choose to love; and the lasting impression left by our first love. It’s beautifully written, and Fannin creates characters that you can relate to – they are honest, have good intentions and are also flawed. I will look forward to reading more from Fannin.
The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante
There are plenty of authors who write the same story over and over and I’m okay with that (Sofie Laguna and Tim Winton spring to mind) – but I guess in order to keep reading, I have to really enjoy that story. In this case, Giovanna felt like a Lenu and Lila combo, and the bracelet was another version of The Blue Fairy.
Paula by Sandra Hoffmann
It took a little while to fall into the rhythm of Hoffmann’s stream-of-consciousness writing, however, the underlying premise of the story (which exposes the trauma experienced by the narrator’s grandmother) kept me there. It’s character driven, and offers insight into how trauma is ‘protected’ by families, history and shared silence. I am always fascinated by how German people my age ‘experience’ the legacy of WWII, and this story contributes yet another perspective.
Weather by Jenny Offill
There are gems scattered throughout this book (Suffering = pain + resistance, and “You can expect something and still get the breath knocked out of you by it”) but overall, it didn’t quite leave the mark I anticipated. That said, it is jam-packed with humour, and references to current politics, climate change, and Western culture. I laughed, but it also left me feeling a little frazzled.