Tuesday, August 13, 2019

WITMonth Day 13 | This Too Shall Pass by Milena Busquets | Minireview

I can neither say that I liked or disliked Milena Busquets This Too Shall Pass (translated from Spanish into Hebrew by Yaarit Tauber). It was a book that I had actually been looking forward to a for a long time, mostly because it's part of a literary series that I really like that sadly almost never puts out works by women in translation. I was ready to enjoy myself, and then I... didn't. I wasn't quite disappointed, either, but the book managed to exasperate me and intrigue me to equal measures. It ends up being a wash.

To be fair, my biggest problem with This Too Shall Pass is that I really struggled to connect with the main character. While the book has literary depth and merit beyond its narrator, Blanca, there's an intimacy in her voice that made me feel like Blanca's character defined the main core of the book. Given that it's all about her grief, not really connecting with Blanca made it much harder to fully take in her exploration of her own feelings.

This Too Shall Pass isn't a long book and it isn't a very plotty book. There's a lot about Blanca's relationships (particularly her relationships with her ex-husbands and potential lovers, but not just), a bit about her thoughts on parenthood and responsibility, and an interesting amount about her mother. I say "interesting", because for a book that's ostensibly about Blanca's grief over her mother's passing, that actually isn't the main narrative thread. It's present, certainly, but the book feels more about Blanca finding her own balance. I do typically like these sorts of stories, but here I felt too off-put by Blanca herself (and all of her friends/lovers, each of whom was just a little more insufferable and awful than the next) - I can easily see other readers enjoying the cool style and approach to grief. It just didn't end up being my cup of tea...

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