📖 Hot Milk by Deborah Levy.
Source: arc courtesy of Penguin Books – thank you!
🔹Blurb/Synopsis: A richly mythic, colour-saturated tale from the Man Booker-shortlisted author of Swimming Home – Deborah Levy explores the violently primal bond between mother and daughter
Today I dropped my laptop on the concrete floor. It was tucked under my arm and slid out of its black rubber sheath, landing screen-side down. The digital page shattered. Apparently there’s a man in the next flyblown town who mends computers. He could send off for a new screen, which would take a month to arrive. Will I still be here in a month?
My mother is sleeping under a mosquito net in the next room. Soon she will wake up and shout, ‘Sofia, get me a glass of water’, and I will get her water and it will be the wrong sort of water. And then after a while I will leave her and return to gaze at the shattered starfield of my screen.
Two women arrive in a Spanish village – a dreamlike place caught between the desert and the ocean – seeking medical advice and salvation. One of the strangers suffers from a mysterious illness: spontaneous paralysis confines her to a wheelchair, her legs unusable. The other, her daughter Sofia, has spent years playing the reluctant detective in this mystery, struggling to understand her mother’s illness.
Surrounded by the oppressive desert heat and the mesmerising figures who move through it, Sofia waits while her mother undergoes the strange programme of treatments invented by Dr Gomez. Searching for a cure to a defiant and quite possibly imagined disease, ever more entangled in the seductive, mercurial games of those around her, Sofia finally comes to confront and reconcile the disparate fragments of her identity.
Hot Milk is a labyrinth of violent desires, primal impulses, and surreally persuasive internal logic. Examining female rage and sexuality, Deborah Levy’s dazzling new novel explores the strange and monstrous nature of motherhood, testing the bonds of parent and child to breaking point.
🔹My Review: With a top class blurb that brings intrigue, excitement and originality I expected something that would have me lost in its pages until the final word. What a disappointment Hot Milk turned out to be for me.
A bizarre tale with random characters and not a whole lot of anything going on, I found Hot Milk to be tedious, strange and flat. I honestly didn’t want to carry on reading it at all, but I did just in case I had missed something or I had even missed some kind of underlying message, I never. When the end finally came my first thought being, ‘What was the point in that? And my second, ‘I am gutted I did not read something else instead.’
Harsh I know, and I hope you will forgive my rudeness.
Try it for yourself though? who knows you may love it.
🔹Links to buy:
Title: Hot Milk.
Author: Deborah Levy.
Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Literary Fiction.
Publisher: Penguin Books.
Imprint: Hamish Hamilton.
Publication Date: 24/03/2016
🔹Author Details: Deborah Levy is a British playwright, novelist and poet. She is the author of six novels, Beautiful Mutants (1986); Swallowing Geography (1993); The Unloved (1994); Billy & Girl (1996), Swimming Home (2011), which was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize 2012 as well as the Jewish Quarterly Wingate Prize, and Hot Milk (2016). Deborah is also the author of a collection of short stories, Black Vodka (2013), which was shortlisted for the BBC International Short Story Award and the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. She has written for the Royal Shakespeare Company and the BBC.