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Book Review: Hot Milk

Sunday, 18 June 2017

To find an exceptional book is, I believe, not something that happens often. Of course there are a lot of good novels, good stories, good writers, yet to find a book truly exceptional is rare. I found one the other day. I was going to buy a novel that I could not find, and was desperately in need for a new book since I had to take my flight back home few days later and could not see myself doing it without a read for the ride. Then I picked up "Hot Milk" by Deborah Levy. At Waterstones it was one of those books "Get this one and the second will be half price". I grabbed it with another random novel on this stand and went back home. The evening after I started my read. Already I knew it was going to be different from everything I have read before. The writing was really intimate, almost voyeuristic. We entered into the mind of this girl in her twenties, struggling with her life, taking care of her sick mother. I was not really sure of what to expect when I started my reading, but I really soon realized that not much was going to happen in this book. Few actions but a heavy sentimental story. And I bloody loved it. 

I won't be able to explain you the plot of this novel. It is one of those book you cannot summarize by words and struggle to explain out loud. One of those books that you have to read to understand. It is quite short, it is dramatic and brave, it is intimate and relatable, one of a kind. The tile "Hot Milk" I believe does find its sense in the feeling you get while reading it. It is as comforting as a glass of hot milk, as enigmatic as the title. This novel, without exaggerating, might be a life changer for some people who encounter the same issues as Sophie, the main character of the story. I recognized myself in some aspect of her, in the way she is lost in her life and struggle to understand who she is in a family where she does not mean much. Heavy topics such as abandonment and family duties are approached in an easy way and help us to see ourselves in this story. "Hot Milk"is for sure, and will stay, one of my favorite novel. Deborah Levy managed to write a book that is at the same time so beautiful, powerful and banal that it is impossible to tell it. A must read. As lovely as a glass of hot milk on a breezy summer evening. 



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