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Hot Milk by Deborah Levy
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Hot Milk (2016)

by Deborah Levy

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5863027,986 (3.51)94
"I have been sleuthing my mother's symptoms for as long as I can remember. If I see myself as an unwilling detective with a desire for justice, is her illness an unsolved crime? If so, who is the villain and who is the victim? Sofia, a young anthropologist, has spent much of her life trying to solve the mystery of her mother's unexplainable illness. She is frustrated with Rose and her constant complaints, but utterly relieved to be called to abandon her own disappointing fledgling adult life. She and her mother travel to the searing, arid coast of southern Spain to see a famous consultant--their very last chance--in the hope that he might cure her unpredictable limb paralysis. But Dr. Gomez has strange methods that seem to have little to do with physical medicine, and as the treatment progresses, Sofia's mother's illness becomes increasingly baffling. Sophia's role as detective--tracking her mother's symptoms in an attempt to find the secret motivation for her pain--deepens as she discovers her own desires in this transient desert community. Hot Milk is a profound exploration of the sting of sexuality, of unspoken female rage, of myth and modernity, the lure of hypochondria and big pharma, and, above all, the value of experimenting with life; of being curious, bewildered, and vitally alive to the world"--… (more)
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» See also 94 mentions

English (29)  Dutch (1)  All languages (30)
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
Raar verhaal. Melancholisch en ongemakkelijk. Ik kon het niet wegleggen en het raakte me, maar ik weet niet goed wat ik ervan moet denken en of het verhaal me zal bijblijven.
  damngoodsoffie | Feb 19, 2020 |
Sofia and her mother Rose seek answers to her mothers unexplained illnesses in Spain. Are her symptoms psychosomatic and is this Dr a quack?
Their relationship is at breaking point with Rosa's demands on Sofia's life. The sanitarium offers Sofia some respite to explore her own identity and her relationship with her mother.
Initially I wasn't taken with this book but found myself wanting to know the outcome. A nice twist in the final page. Not sure i would consider it worthy of the Booker
shortlist though. ( )
  HelenBaker | Aug 16, 2019 |
A bit all over the place. ( )
  kakadoo202 | Jul 31, 2019 |
I feel a bit silly giving this two stars because two stars could be considered a bad rating, but as per goodreads' definition of two stars: 'it was ok.'

After a frustrating start with what I wasn't sure was bad editing due to the repetition of some sentences, or a literary device, and because I wasn't sure if the character was autistic or something, this book held my interest until the end. Mostly because I was reading it to learn as a writer.

As I was reading it I knew there was a lot of metaphor and mythology woven through it that was probably going over my head, so that's another reason I feel silly giving it a low grading. I'm sure someone knowledgable on Greek mythology and history would get a lot out of this book. It's obvious that Deborah Levy is a very intelligent and competent person. I liked a lot of individual sentences and descriptions.

Interestingly, I had just finished an Irish book before reading this, and the mother seemed very Irish to me - Okay I've changed my rating to 3 stars, cause I know it's the kind of book that will make me remember it and appreciate it more in memory.

If you're into greek mythology and psychological relationships, and anthropology, and also if you're a writer I recommend this book to you. If you're not, and you've given books similar ratings to what I've given them (go compare), I don't recommend it. I think this book is destined to have very mixed reviews, but will be re-printed for the forseeable future. ( )
  StevenJohnTait | Jul 29, 2019 |
One of the best books I've read in a long time. ( )
  KellyFordon | Mar 6, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
The reader becomes as unsettled as Sofia through Levy's provocative, seemingly haphazard mixing up of tenses, occasional blurring of points of view; grammar necessarily shatters when Rose and Sofia gaze newly at each other, try to break old patterns of misunderstanding, to speak truthfully. The difficult, ambivalent, precious mother-daughter relationship forms the core of this beautiful, clever novel.
 
Hot Milk is a powerful novel of the interior life, which Levy creates with a vividness that recalls Virginia Woolf. The sense of Sofia’s life with her mother (or against her mother) is built through an accumulation of detail, a constellation of symbols and narrative bursts. But like a medusa, this novel has a transfixing gaze and a terrible sting that burns long after the final page is turned.
 

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Deborah Levyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Åsefeldt, EvaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Today I dropped my laptop on the concrete floor of a bar built on the beach.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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amazon ca :"I have been sleuthing my mother's symptoms for as long as I can remember. If I see myself as an unwilling detective with a desire for justice, is her illness an unsolved crime? If so, who is the villain and who is the victim?"

Sofia, a young anthropologist, has spent much of her life trying to solve the mystery of her mother's unexplainable illness. She is frustrated with Rose and her constant complaints, but utterly relieved to be called to abandon her own disappointing fledgling adult life. She and her mother travel to the searing, arid coast of southern Spain to see a famous consultant--their very last chance--in the hope that he might cure her unpredictable limb paralysis.

But Dr. Gomez has strange methods that seem to have little to do with physical medicine, and as the treatment progresses, Sofia's mother's illness becomes increasingly baffling. Sofia's role as detective--tracking her mother's symptoms in an attempt to find the secret motivation for her pain--deepens as she discovers her own desires in this transient desert community.

"Hot Milk" is a profound exploration of the sting of sexuality, of unspoken female rage, of myth and modernity, the lure of hypochondria and big pharma, and, above all, the value of experimenting with life; of being curious, bewildered, and vitally alive to the world.
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