· pages: 121
· Genre: Contemporary fiction/ Adult
· Published: 2009 by Scribe Publications (first published 2006)
· Shelf Recommendation: Borrow
· Date Finished: 28th October 2011
· Rating: 3 Stars ***
In this magical, jewel-like novel, a young Sardinian woman explores the life of her Nonna — her romantic, beautiful, and somewhat crazy grandmother. Nonna is an unforgettable character whose life spans much of the twentieth century. A dreamer with fierce loyalties and unbridled passions, we follow her search for perfect love to an ending both surprising and profound. Along the way, against the stunning Sardinian landscape of cities, marinas and mountains, we meet the members of her large family, and the mysterious Veteran, the man of her dreams — each one drawn with warmth, humour and deep insight.
Milena Agus writes of family loves and secrets, of sexuality, of music, and of the harsh realities of war and migration in twentieth-century Europe in a powerful, compelling, and yet whimsical voice.
For the best part, this novel was rich in detail, full of magic and subtle dark undertones. With its complexities of life and love and what it means not only to live passion, but to deny yourself of it and the consequences and suffering of a life hardly lived, this book at the worst of times was daunting and confusing; however kudos to Milena for the unique style of writing, and for opening my eyes to a different kind of reading.
I enjoyed this book, and not in the way I was expecting. It wasn’t mind blowing, but it was provoking and a learning experience. I found myself getting tangled in the language which I didn’t understand and lazing over the historical elements, like facts on war. Although I did enjoy the history and scenery of what it was like during the period this story is set in and getting to know Nonna as her own character as well as her role as a mother, mistress, friend and lover.
While this wasn’t ideally my cup of tea, it was a nice change from the more heavily American influenced novels I read. If you are looking for something intense, and culturally full then I would recommend picking up this short book.