Thursday, January 17, 2013

Emma's Luck - Claudia Scrieber


 Pages: 214
Published: March 6th 2008 by John Murray
Genre: German Literature
Format: Hardback
Acquired: My own TBR shelf
Date Finished: January 17th 2013

Emma lives alone in a big farmhouse with her animals for company—she talks to her chickens, cuddles up to her pigs in the sty, and caresses her cows. But she also must make a living from her livestock, selling meat and making sausages. For Emma, it’s all part of a natural process, and she does her best to give the pigs a short and sweet death, having developed her very own way of killing her pigs most tenderly. For all her happiness on the farm, there are two things in Emma’s life she desperately wants—money to save her farm, which is deeply in debt, and a man. One night, she is woken by a crash. In her field, she finds a wrecked Ferrari. and in it, an unconscious man—with an enormous amount of cash. It looks like Emma’s prayers have been answered—but have they? Will the mysterious Max adapt to rural life, or will his past come back to haunt them.

Quick thoughts: Totally unexpected storyline, but one that kept me reading for hours

This novel was totally not what I expected when I picked it up. I was digging around in my shelves and I had been looking at this book for some time. It seemed to be screaming at me and in my chick-lit rush I thought it looked downright adorable. Let me tell you covers can be damn deceiving. Emma’s luck is a far cry away from being a chick-lit and is more of a dark contemporary novel. From beginning to end I never got that satisfying cute feeling I longed for, but I did get a bittersweet sensation that left me feeling sated in unexpected ways.

I never read a book in a day, well hardly ever, but this one despite the heat of summer had be turning page after page both in frustrating and eager interest. Emma is a woman who behaves like animals and was basically raised by them. Her family was a disgusting pack of malicious twits and even after their death Emma is still suffering from their abuse. However she has learned to accept her life as it is, and she loves the animals that are her family and the heap of a dump farm she calls home. It isn’t until Max crashes into her world and turns it upside down that Emma’s eyes are opened as are Max’s and the unlikely due come together to create something amazingly heartbreaking and yet un-putdown able.

I was all ready to give this one a two stars, but I got sucked in. It is confusing at times and utterly obscure with its subtle sexual innuendo and its bleak undertones of wasted lives in a small town of gossips and people who have no care for anything but themselves. Sure there is a twinge of romance, but throughout the book it focuses more on the change in Emma’s and Max’s lives and there perceptions of each other and how they both were raised and live. This in itself after a while grew on me and when I stopped thinking about what this book wasn’t and really immersed myself in the experience I learnt so much about the farm life, what the insides of a pig look like and what raw and broken love looks like and I enjoyed the experience.

It was hard going at times to make sense of the words that got lost in translation [as this book was translated from German to English] and sometimes I would find myself wishing I could get out of the story because I had to slog through the depressing nature of Emma and Max’s individual lives, but I got through it and I am glad I did because this is the reason I love to delve into different books. To learn about different cultures and diverse lifestyles and to become more accepting of people’s choices. And while I can’t say I loved the book and its characters it certainly has opened my eyes to a new idea of thinking when it comes to animals and their rights and I am damn sure if I had Emma’s life I would be broke, hungry and man less. Emma was a damn strong woman and I had to admire that.

I would have to recommend this book to people looking to read outside their comfort zone and for those with a taste for the obscure. I think it is fantastic that authors are translating more and more work worldwide and being given the chance to read something like Emma’s Luck is an experience to be grateful for. Overall it made for a provoking days read.

I am giving this book
Money Filled Sausages


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