“But the bodies of the sick transform the other bodies.”
We chose this book to break the ice on the first ameeting of the book club created together with the friends of the Mondadori Bookstore in Barona (Milan). A collaboration born to relaunch shared reading even in the suburbs of large cities, and which we are sure will last over time.
With the usual sincerity, we admit that we started reading the book unconvinced, without a well-defined reason, perhaps the excessive advertising or the sea magnum of reviews that could be found in a short time on various newspapers and industry sites. Thanks to the push of the book club we have broken down our preconception.
The structure of the story proved to be suitable for discussion, between those who appreciated the author’s cutting irony, and those who did not even manage to get to the end. And perhaps this is the book’s greatest success.
The author recounts the internal dynamics of her family with a shrewd gaze that she made us fall in love with. From childhood to adulthood, the reader is transported to a world that you know well, like that of an average Italian family. The relationships between a difficult father, and a mother who is apprehensive to say the least, mean that we find ourselves in many aspects.
The irony, cornerstone of the narrative, is also personified in the caricature in many, if not all, of the characters told, an excess of strongly “Roman style”.
The strong references to icons and situations typical of a certain period make it a generational novel, in which those who fall within the age range of the author can find their way around with greater agility. So it’s best to keep this particular in mind if you plan on recommending it or giving it away.
Finally, we come to what can now be defined as a classic of our reviews, but which we cannot avoid repeating. References to modern social platforms or television programs have not met our favor. In our opinion, they make mortal a text that could have all the trappings to resist the pitfalls of time, and also be read by future generations.
Veronica Raimo, Nothing true, Einaudi, Torino, 2021