Very clever, yet also a nice, quick read,
Verifizierter Kauf(Was ist das?)
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Summer Without Men (Taschenbuch)
(Review contains some spoilers.) Our protagonist, Mia, spends the summer ... with women. Yes, I admit I did my best to hide the title of this book, but I do find it slightly misleading. It gives a sense of a frivolous woman, or girl, who renounces all men for an entire summer, but it is much more the story of a woman who is forsaken by her husband, and then just sort of finds herself suddenly surrounded by women. After her sanity is temporarily shattered by the news from her husband wanting to take a "pause" (with a younger woman, of course), Mia returns to her hometown for a summer, rents a house and teaches a poetry class.
Siri Hustvedt does a good job of juggling different groups with different issues in the story of Mia. There is a group of older women (including Mia's mother) in the retirement home belong in a quickly diminishing group of the few compos mentis octo- and nonagenarians of the "independent-living" wing; Mia's poetry class, frequented by a small, clicky and dramatic group of tweens; and her summer neighbor with a bewigged daughter and squirmy infant flow in and out of the story while the narrator re-examines her life, bestrewn with small rants and musings on somewhat odd topics which I found to be the best part of the book.
This book is clever and interesting without being too heavy. The writing is witty and her reflections and side rants are quite amusing, but unfortunately I do not think that the other characters are very well formed. It is a surprisingly insightful book about the sexes, and is full of charming factoids as well, but the actual story and characters were sadly disappointing. Her writing style is, however, fantastic, with a few small breeches to speak directly to the reader.