Novellas I Read in 2022 and am talking about in November #NovNov
Due to circumstances and reasons, I have not had a particularly fruitful reading or blogging year, especially since the summer, or early August to be precise. Properly participating in blogging events is too much for me right now, so please accept this lazy Novellas in November contribution. It’s my favourite blogging event and has a long and storied history. Shout out to Cathy and Rebecca for keeping the #NovNov train going!
Elena Knows by Claudia Piñeiro, translated from Spanish by Frances Riddle, 173 pages
I liked but did not love this one. It got a bit message-y at the end. The messages were important and resonated with me (violence against women, abortion access, religion, aging, disability) but it was all very heavy-handed. I loved Elena and loved the depiction of tense moments with her daughter on their annual vacation. Their interactions were difficult to read, in a good way (think Rachel Cusk, Gwendoline Riley).
Cold Enough for Snow by Jessica Au, 144 pages
Another strained mother-daughter relationship, further strained by travel, this made almost no impression on me. Sometimes a book can be a little too sparse. I think this was also going for a Cusk or Riley kind of a thing, but didn’t quite make it.
Helpmeet by Naben Ruthnum, 94 pages
This little horror book has its moments but unfortunately I pictured the uh, creature, as Krang from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Also why are so many horror books about parasites, or something growing inside you that needs to get out…it’s all just pregnancy (remembers what it was like being pregnant and giving birth)… okay actually that does make sense.
Mouth to Mouth by Antoine Wilson, 192 pages
You ever finish a book with a shocking or twisty ending, and immediately see how the whole book was building towards it, but question whether a whole book needed to be written for… that? I enjoyed reading this but was expecting it to build towards something a lot crazier. Very “so, there was a plot twist. That don’t impress-a me much.”
If I get my act together, I intend to try the buddy read for Novellas in November, Foster by Claire Keegan. It has a recent film adaptation, The Quiet Girl, perfect for my movie era, though I don’t know if I can actually view it in Canada yet.
How did I not know The Quiet Girl is an adaptation of Foster? AAargh. Think it’s been and gone here.
And no idea when it’s coming here! Yes it looks like Australia had it for a while… sounds like it’s a good adaptation too
Thanks for the warning re Elena Knows. I hate heavy handedness so I’ll be skipping it!
A lot of people loved it! But yeah it really is…
Helpmeet sounds right up my street, especially as someone who was once pregnant with twins 🙂
Thanks for this round up!
I need to accept the fact that creepy little novellas are not my thing. I wish they were! And yes if you ever felt like something inside you was draining your life and spirit… 🙂
I felt exactly the same about Cold Enough for Snow! I would have been interested in Elena Knows because it was on the Barbellion Prize shortlist, but it sounds like it’s not very well done.
Foster was a one-sitting read for me. Very highly recommended if you get the chance.
A lot of people loved Elena Knows so I don’t want to put you off completely… it was better than Cold Enough for Snow! I still think about it.
My most recent 3 reads, 2 of them novellas, deal at least partly with pregnancy. There seems to be a lot of it about.
Makes for good drama (or horror, sometimes!)
It’s funny you say that about horror stories… I hardly ever read them, but when I do they have parasites growing inside people! Written by men, too. I wonder if they think they have a great creepy idea, forgetting that this very thing actually happens to much of the population. Not that I thought of my own babies as parasitic… Lol