Hot Milk

What did I like about living in London? And what does that have to do with Hot Milk by Deborah Levy? London is just as snug as it is a metropolis. At least the neighbourhood where we lived and our street.

Suddenly, you are preparing snacks for the street party. All cars removed from the street, a few large gazebos with long tables, lots of wine and lots of rain haha.The street we lived in also has a ladies book club. Goodness! Well, quite something for me.

Fortunately my former lovely neighbour Maureen is an avid reader and she invited me to come. Alternately, we gathered at the house of one of the 14 ladies every 6 weeks. You already understand that these gatherings were more social wine drinking evenings, than that we discussed any books. The gossip of the street and the neighbourhood came first. I thought it was a great integration course haha.

Nonetheless, the choices for the books we were supposed to read were still quite serious. Not just a romantic novel, but at least Man Booker Prize or Pulitzer Prize candidates.

I was the nerd who generally read all the books. With pleasure! The nice thing about a book club is the fact that you read other books that you would never pick up yourself. There were a number of surprises.

Hot Milk from Deborah Levy is one of them. This book was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2016. Thereafter, half the world is lyrical about such a book. That makes one very curious. Once read, I was a little disappointed. Is that because of the high expectations regarding the nomination for a prestigious award?

Why is it, that I still can’t tell whether I liked the book or not? Normally that never happens to me. A certain book is a must read or not, period. That I can’t give a definitive opinion is quite strange. Hot Milk, however, gets stuck in your head, so something definitely happened up there. What is this book about, you wonder right now?

Well, about Sofia, who travels to southern Spain with her sickly mother, to visit a clinic. This clinic is her last resort to get a diagnose and treatment. She can hardly walk anymore and doctors have not been able to tell her why not. The clinic is rather dubious. As well as the symptoms of Sofia’s mother. It seems that her mother is making up her invalidity, so Sofia continues to take care of her. This has resulted in a complex and bizarre mother-daughter relationship. Suffocating too. In Spain, everything changes.

Through the language use of Deborah Levy you join in on the waves of the Mediterranean sea full of poisonous jellyfish. It is realistic, but also poetic. Sofia tries to escape the psychological warfare with her mother. But don’t expect a thriller-like book, it is not a page turner and yet the book continues to fascinate to the last page.  So, final judgement, a must read actually.

To buy your copy via The Bookdepositiry,  click here or click on the book below to order on Amazon. 

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