Sunday 24 March 2019


Finished March 8
Ties by Domenico Starnone, translated by Jhumpa Lahiri

Separated into three parts, this short novel tells the story of a marriage, not a happy one. The first part is from 1974, twelve years into the marriage, and is letters from the wife to the husband. He has left the family for another woman, and she doesn't understand why, and is angry and frustrated. She is also in desperate financial straits, unable to make rent and provide for the children's needs. Her letters show her emotional state and her situation.
The second part is in the present and the husband and wife leave their apartment for a holiday by the beach. They're arranged for the grown children to stop by and look after the cat. But when they return the door is jammed against something and they find their apartment disturbed and in cleaning it up and picking things up, they are each reminded of the past.
The third part is from the children's point of view, both back during the separation and now and we see how their parents marriage affected them.
This novel is poignant, and fascinating. Once I got into it, I could barely put it down.

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