What I Read in September

September was an interesting month. And, I don’t know about you, but I feel like it lasted a total of 10 seconds. And in this small amount of time, I managed to start various books but finish only two short ones.

  • The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmão by Martha Batalha

The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmão tells the story of Euridice, a young woman that lives in Rio de Janeiro during the 1940s. Besides having a brilliant mind and being good in everything she does, Euridice marries Antenor and becomes a housewife. But a few years later they hire Maria das Dores, which becomes responsible for all house chores. After that Euridice’s moods starts to fluctuate between complete devotion to a hobby (which annoys her husband) and complete indifference to life (which worries her husband).

Besides her husband, Euridice also needs to deal with neighbors like Zelia, which suffers from the Gossip Girl syndrome, and with the hole left by her sister Guida, which ran away as a teen. Throughout the book you get to know the story behind each of these characters and why they behave the way they do.

If the name of this book sounds familiar to you, it is probably because the movie adaptation won this year the prize Un Certain Regard in the Cannes Film Festival. I didn’t watch the film yet, but I want to even more now. I loved how Martha Batalha wrote the book, it is a light read but the story is meaningful. And, besides this being a fictional story, it could perfectly be a true story.

  • Troubling Love by Elena Ferrante

Troubling Love is one of the many books by Elena Ferrante, which is one of my favorite authors. It tells the story of Delia, a 45 year-old, and her weird relationship with her family, specially with her mom, Amalia.

The story starts with Delia coming back to Naples, her hometown, for the funeral of Amalia, whom mysteriously drowned in the beach, and was found wearing only a bra. Throughout the few days she spends in the city, Delia explains why she decided to not be close with her family and to try her best to not be like her mom. She also tries to solve the mystery of what really happened to her Amalia, and who was her mysterious lover.

According to Google there is a film adaptation of this book, which I never watched. But the book was ok. I’m a big fan of the Neapolitan Novels, so my expectations are always high and I always, even if unconsciously, compare any other book by Ferrante with those novels. If this was my first book by the author, I would be happy with it, and probably read more of her work.


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