Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Fever Dream

Finished June 21
Fever Dream by Samantha Schweblin, translated by Megan McDowell

This short novel is very creepy. A woman, Amanda, and her preschool daughter Nina have rented a house in the countryside for a vacation. Her husband will be joining them in a few days. She has a ritual that is constantly in her head regarding her daughter that she calls the rescue distance. Her own mother used the same phrase. It is how far away her daughter can be from her for her to feel safe. Part of the calculation that goes into this is her surroundings, and so one of the things she does at the vacation house shortly after arriving and settling her daughter in bed is walk around the perimeter of the house and its property to get a sense of the space.
At some point early in her vacation she meets a woman, Carla, that she becomes friendly with, and as the book begins, the woman is at her house, sitting out by the pool, and Amanda is a bit uneasy. Carla tells her about her own child, David, and some of the information she shares about David is unnerving.
Much of the story is told in retrospect, as Amanda is lying in a bed with someone at her side who is urging her to tell the events of the past few days. There seems to be some urgency in this retelling, but the reader is unsure why, and what is going on. We soon learn the identity of the person sitting with Amanda, but this doesn't help us understand.
There is a menace hanging over things and although we already know things aren't going to go well for this woman, we want her to escape the fate that seems to be in store for her and Nina.
A very uncomfortable read.

No comments:

Post a Comment