[ARC] Ladivine by Marie NDiaye

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Ladivine by Marie NDiaye is one of the novel in the 2016 Man Booker International Prize’s longlist.

The novel begins with a child, Malinka, unable to see anything in her mother a part from her skin color and her work as a maid. The mother, Ladivine, instead loves her daughter and makes everything she can to let her lives like other children.

Malinka grows up and begins to distance herself from the one she thinks only as “the servant”, and when she finds a job she changes her name in Clarisse, in order to conceal better her ethnicity, already difficult to grasp for her light skin color.

Clarisse then marries and becomes Clarisse Rivière, she has a daughter, Ladivine, and, despite having maintained her relation with her mother (a visit once sa month), she will never let her daughter and her husband meet the old woman. Times goes by and Richard Rivière leaves his wife to have a new family elsewhere, and Clarisse finds love in another relation, with a creepy man; her choice is not supported by her daughter Ladivine and this will increase their distance. Only after a dramatic episode Richard and his daughter will think about Clarisse and reflect about her role in their lives.

The novel faces different thematic: one’s person origins (Clarisse is always trying to run away from them, but she is unable to completely close her mother out of her life), shame and judgment (Clarisse is ashamed by her mother work, but we are told also Richard is sometimes ashamed of Clarisse and her behaviours), the construction of the ideal life in the middle class, marriage issues, mother-daughter relationship. All the above in a setting pervaded by a natural empathy – almost spiritual – that brings things together and comforts the sorrows.

The story follows three points of views: Clarisse, her daughter Ladivine and her husband Richard, but sometimes minor characters have their voice. Honestly I liked the first part of the novel (Clarisse’s pov), the story is well detailed and Clarisse is a peculiar character, both for her ability to estrange herself from situations and emotions (she sees her mother only as a servant).

The other two parts (about Ladivine and Richard) were more slow and redundant (Ladivine’s in particular); the setting was almost unreal and Ladivine’s thoughts keep recurring without evolutions; too bad, considering the very good first part.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me the copy necessary to write this review.


* Ladivine by Marie NDiaye ★★☆☆☆

*I read this book in english

[ARC] There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly by Rashin

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I found out that There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly is a children song that is drawn by different illustrators – this is in fact one of the multiple existing versions.

The old lady swallows a fly, and then a spider to catch it and so on, like a black hole.

The rhyme is very nice and I think the images are colorful and fun: the madness of the old lady is opposed to the horror of the animals that show their disagreement in being swallowed by some comic’s balloons.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me the copy necessary to write this review.


* There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly by Rashin ★★★

*I read this book in english

[ARC] from Kids Can Press

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I decided to collect in a single post my comments about the arc received from the Kids Can Press – that publish books for children.

The book this post is about – every one of them interesting and rich in content are:

  • Goodnight, You by Geneviève Côté
  • Loula and the Sister Recipe by Anne Villeneuve
  • Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin by Chieri Uegaki
  • If by  David J. Smith Continue reading

[ARC] Birdcatdog by Lee Nordling

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In this comic the top strip is about the story of a bird, the middle one of a cat and the bottom strip is about the story of a dog.

The reader may choose to read each single story, or to read the comic as any other book (looking at the whole page), this way it will be clear how each single story influences the others: everyone is the main character of his own story, but his presence influences other lives, too.

The comic is nice, each single image is like a frame of a movie, an interesting experiment.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me the copy necessary to write this review.

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Birdcatdog by Lee Nordling ★★★

[ARC] Birdcatdog by Lee Nordling

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Un fumetto in cui le strisce in alto ci raccontano la storia di un uccellino, quelle in mezzo di un gatto e quelle più in basso di un cane.

Le storie possono essere seguite singolarmente, oppure si può scegliere di leggere il fumetto come un libro normale (guardando tutta la pagina), in questo modo si vedrà come i tre singoli protagonisti interagiscano e abbiano una rilevanza anche nelle storie altrui: ognuno è protagonista della propria storia, ma la sua presenza influenza anche quelle degli altri.

Il fumetto è molto gradevole, le singole vignette sono quasi fotogrammi che compongono le singole vicende, un esperimento interessante.

Ringrazio l’editore per avermi fornito la copia necessaria per scrivere questa recensione.

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Birdcatdog by Lee Nordling ★★★