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This Too Shall Pass by Milena Busquets
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This Too Shall Pass (2014)

by Milena Busquets

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English (98)  Spanish (6)  Catalan (6)  French (1)  All (111)
Showing 1-5 of 98 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
After a long illness, Blanca's mother has passed away and she finds herself struggling to come to terms with it. Age 40, with 2 young sons and 2 ex-husbands, Blanca gathers a group of friends (and both her ex's) to enjoy some time at a beach house in one of her favorite Spanish coastal village. It also just so happens, her married lover lives in this town.

This story is Blanca's love letter to her mother, the chapters written first-person, addressing her mother. The history of their relationship is pretty rocky, according to Blanca's reminiscing, but Blanca was spending time with her mother, keeping her company, except for the moment her mother passed. She talks about how mean her mother was to people at the end, and how she alienated her friends.

However rough their relationship was, Blanca still is struggling with the loss. And she seems to be looking for solace from every man who comes near her. Getting through the summer with a variety of men and booze, Blanca sure seems to ignore her kids and all responsibilities in a very selfish manner. However, she does take care of her mom's dog, so there's a point in her favor.

As much as I felt sorry for Blanca, I didn't really like her. She's sleeping with a married man, she flirts (and more) with nearly every male in this story, and she barely spends any time with her kids. I just really didn't find her likable at all. I won this book via LibraryThing. ( )
  mandersj73 | Jul 19, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book is a quick and easy read - definitely able to finish in one sitting. However, the book itself was pretty vapid and ridiculous. The main character was completely unrelatable to me and I just wanted to shake her and scream at her to wake up and get over herself. Losing a parent is heartbreaking, but her life seemed to be a hot mess well before her mother got sick and at the end of the day, she still had kids she should have been taking care of as well. ( )
  CInacio | May 10, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I read a Reviewer's Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review but could not finish the book. I found it hard to read and confusing. ( )
  ciyoda | Mar 19, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This novella is as a letter written from a grieving daughter to her recently deceased mother. Its flow is a stream of consciousness as the daughter struggles with a myriad of emotions experienced through grief. Their relationship was a complex one and daughter Blanca struggles with this raw grief in some ways that appear healthy and in some unhealthy ones much of the time - doing whatever it takes to cope. She surrounds herself with those whom she loves, her children, ex-husbands, a married lover, and friends in an effort to ease through the grief. There's even the thought of a possible new lover to distract her from her frayed emotions.

Although well written, at times the book's language and some of the characters' behavior is a bit coarse and may be offensive to some readers.

I am grateful to publisher Penguin Random House and LibraryThing Early Reviewers for having provided a free copy of this book. Their generosity, however, has not influenced this review - the words of which are mine alone.

+++++++++++++++++++++++
Personal thoughts...
Struggling with my own emotions regarding a parent in failing health, I found a kindred voice through the exquisite prose:
"When I get home I'm going to burn every last stitch of clothing I have on today - they're all drenched in exhaustion and sadness, there's nothing worth saving."
"I will never be seen through your eyes again....My place in this world was through your gaze..."
"I don't like being an orphan; I'm not made for this depth of sadness. Or maybe I am, maybe it's the precise size of pain, maybe it's the only dress left that can fit me."
"Little by little, unawares, the weight of your dwindling happiness found its place on my shoulders."
"I separated myself from you for a while, because I realized that if I didn't you wouldn't be the only casualty left in the wreckage."
"Occasionally, I'd answer thinking, today she's calling just to tell me she loves me and she's sorry for having abandoned me, and you'd called to talk about money and to reproach me because I was the one who had abandoned you."
"Illness evicted her from her throne so cruelly in the end,..."
"I guess all funerals I attend from now on will be yours."
"We had discussed death so many times, but we never thought the bitch would take your head before taking the rest, that she would leave you with a few little crumbs of intermittent lucidity, just enough to make you suffer a little bit more."
" Hope is the hardest facial expression to fake, and the ability to express it diminishes with every broken dream;..."
"Nobody warns you that you have to become your mother when she's dying."
"And so my my head once again succumbs to my body, and your death recedes a few more steps into the distance and as if by magic, my frozen blood begins to flow again." ( )
  KateBaxter | Mar 8, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book was very confusing at times. However if you know a little about Spanish literature you will like the references. The ending was a little disheartening, however I thought the book did a great job reviewing loss. ( )
  exploreacademy | Mar 4, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 98 (next | show all)
Blanca’s mother has passed and her whole world is in turmoil. She has to find a way to cope with her grief. She decides to enlist her dearest friends, family and to go to a different location. She heads to Cadaqués, on the coast. With her are her two sons, two ex-husbands, two best friends. She plans a rendezvous with her married lover. With the ones that she loves she tries to find a way to cope with her mother’s death and try to learn how to live on her own. She has no idea just what her future has in store for her. Join Blanca on her search to find happiness and to see what she can do to survive on her own without her mother.
I received a complimentary copy from Blogging For Books for this review.
added by Jean_Kellman | editLet's Talk About It, Jean Kellman (Jul 23, 2016)
 

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Milena Busquetsprimary authorall editionscalculated
Serramià, LurdesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
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Para Noé y Héctor.
Y para Esteban y Esther
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Por alguna extraña razón, nunca pensé que llegaría a los cuarenta años.
Quotations
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Debe de ser intolerable tener todavía los ojos abiertos y pensar que hay lugares que ya no volverás a ver nunca, que se cierren las posibilidades antes que los ojos.
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Book description
An irrestible, vivid, and wise story of one woman's reckoning with loss and love

Blanca is forty years old and motherless. Shaken by the unexpected death of the most important person in her life, she suddenly realizes that she has no idea what her future will look like.

To ease her dizzying grief and confusion, Blanca turns to her dearest friends, her closest family, and a change of scenery. Leaving Barcelona behind, she returns to Cadaqués, on the coast, accompanied by her two sons, two ex-husbands, and two best friends, and makes a plan to meet her married lover for a few stolen moments as well. Surrounded by those she loves most, she spends the summer in an impossibly beautiful place, finding ways to reconnect and understand what it means to truly, happily live on her own terms, just as her mother would have wanted.

A refreshingly frank and ruefully funny portrait of a grieving daughter, THIS TOO SHALL PASS explores how our deepest relationships are changed by tragedy, with bonds often becoming stronger in ways we never expected.
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A literary tsunami * that is taking the world by storm already sold in over 30 countries about one unforgettable woman's search for a meaningful life. Blanca is forty years old and motherless. Shaken by the unexpected death of the most important person in her life, she suddenly realizes that she has no idea what her future will look like. To ease her dizzying grief and confusion, Blanca turns to her dearest friends, her closest family, and a change of scenery. Leaving Barcelona behind, she returns to Cadaques on the coast, accompanied by her two sons, two ex-husbands, and two best friends, and makes a plan to meet her married lover for a few stolen moments as well. Surrounded by those she loves most, she spends the summer in an impossibly beautiful place, finding ways to reconnect and understand what it means to truly, happily live on her own terms, just as her mother would have wanted. A fresh, honest, and ruefully funny story about love, sex, marriage, grief, friendship and parenthood, THIS TOO SHALL PASS is an irresistible novel that is fast becoming an international phenomenon. A seductive voice, one that wants to take a strong bite on life. --Silvia Marimon, ARA (Spain)*… (more)

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