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Review: Hot Milk by Deborah Levy

Blurb from Goodreads:
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. 
My Review:
This was easily one of the strangest books I've ever read.  Unless hard pressed, I would find it very difficult to even tell you what the book is about; not that the GR description is necessarily inaccurate but it doesn't mean that it's about anything.  I guess this book is about Sofia's sexual awakening although it is a bit haphazard and circuitous.  At first, we think it's a book about Sofia traveling to Spain with her mother for her mother to seek diagnosis and treatment to explain why she woke up one day unable to walk and why Sofia is exhibiting some of her mother's symptoms as well . . . We meet an interesting cast of characters but they all, including Sofia, seemed a bit one dimensional.  I also found all of the characters' motivations hard to read -- there were so many threads started but not finished.  And, I don't think this is a spoiler, but there are a few chapters that end in a narrative of someone actively watching Sofia -- almost like a serial killer -- and that thread is never flushed out.  It was beyond bizarre.  This is another book that I'm not even sure how to recommend -- you could say it's more introspective than plot driven but I didn't even find it very introspective.  

Hot Milk came out last week on July 12, 2016, and you can purchase HERE.
Blue is my hear of failing and falling and feeling and blue is the August sky above us in Almeria.  Her helmet has slipped over her eyes.  Blue are her tears and the struggle to live in all the dimensions between forgetting and remembering.


  1. I can see why you are having a hard time describing this one, it does sound..odd. Wonderful job though, these type of reviews can be so hard. Have a great weekend Eva!

  2. Weird. It sounds like a strange plot. And too bad about the characters not being that fleshed out.
    I'm sorry it wasn't for you entirely, Eva.

  3. Very strange. I can't remember reading a book that I couldn't understand what it's about, and I don't think I want to. I've read some introspective books, but I knew and understood what was going on and what the author wanted to convey. I think I'll pass on this one. Thanks for the heads up, and you conveyed your thoughts perfectly.

  4. That sounds very strange. I would probably lose interest in it while reading. Although, wanting to know about the "serial killer" would keep me going, but then disappoint me when the author didn't delved into it :/ I'm sorry this wasn't for you but great review!

  5. This does sound like quite a weird read, if you will. Thanks for trying to explain! It does sound like a difficult one to grasp. I definitely don't think this would be for me.


  6. Hmm that sounds kind of weird and like a really hard book to review. Great job with the review though!!

  7. Oh wow that does sound completely odd. :O I don't think it'd be my kind of book honestly...I haaaate when blurbs are mega confusing and also wrong. GAH. Sometimes it's like "omg who wrote this blurb" because it doesn't match the book at all. SIGH. Congrats for persevering through the confusing book though!!

    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

  8. This does sound odd. VERY odd in fact. Good on you for slogging through it and finishing!

  9. oh this book does sound pretty bizarre here!!! I can see why you struggled with it.

  10. That sounds incredibly weird. Even the blurb is confusing. ANd also... hot milk? What does that even mean? I don't want hot milk and sexual awakening paired together. Big old pass on this one! Great review, Eva!

  11. I've seen this book at the office! I don't know what to make of the title alone. LOL.

  12. For some weird and inexplicable reason, the title oddly enough makes me want to drink hot milk?? It's weird since I don't really drink milk unless it's in cereal? Hmmmmm. hehe! I think i want milk and honey. Does that make you want some now?? Teehee! The way this book is set up and the way you expanded it, it doesn't seem like it ames much sense, so that means I'm going to stay way, wayyy away from it. :)

  13. This sounds really weird. I'm thinking I would either LOVE or HATE this one. Lol, I'm pretty curious though.


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