The feeling I get when reading a good book is like being able to control your movement on very slippery ground. Anything is expected. But you can control it. For the moment. Then the last chapters are like slippery grounds on a slope. Everything happens so fast. You are helpless. Wondering why you went to the slippery dangerous grounds. Too late, you cannot stop.
Plenty of times I shut a book I am reading in time to cushion my dismay. Although you will not always know when you are going to gasp in public and embarrass yourself. Or get caught up in emotions. I do that a lot. I feel everything, hence my excuse to be a slow reader. I have accepted the pace.
The story of Anna P as Told by Herself has to be one of the best books I have ever chosen to read. It has surpassed all my expectations. The plot, the grammar, the description and the bizarre character of the characters in the book. It took me a while to wrap my head around the story but as soon as I was done with the foundation, I was reeled in. Like settling into a new house.
The book is about a woman who has had quite the dark past and painful one at that. As she grows older she pushes her real memory away and tries to hold on to whatever to make herself happy again and feel rooted. She feigns backgrounds and memories. Then it gets to a point that she doesn’t remember who she really is, but a repetition of history forces her to go back to the past.
This is the part of the book you will read with gasps, shock, anger and confusion. At least that’s what I experienced. Members of the book club I am in, went on and on and on about it. Agreeing and disagreeing. The conversation was enlightening. It is safe to say the book deserved all the accolades it bagged.
The only downside that other readers have pointed out, is the repetition. In the story she reads an old journal that almost parallels with what she is doing. I however did not mind that. I read through it. Each and every word.
At 64 years old, this is Penny Busetto’s first book. I would like to attribute her as a perfectionist. She took enough time to get her story out, marinate and let it all soak. She is the winner of the 2013 European Union Literary Award. The book was also shortlisted for the Etisalat prize for literature in 2015.
I do not mind a sequel of this book at all.