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The Book of Mother
The Book of Mother: A Novel | Violaine Huisman
18 posts | 9 read | 12 to read
"Beautiful and charismatic, Catherine, a.k.a. 'Maman, ' smokes too much, drives too fast, laughs too hard, and loves too extravagantly. During a joyful and chaotic childhood in Paris, her daughter Violaine wouldn't have it any other way. But when Maman is hospitalized after a third divorce and a breakdown, everything changes. As the story of Catherine's own traumatic childhood and adolescence unfolds, the pieces come together to form an indelible portrait of a mother as irresistible as she is impossible, as triumphant as she is transgressive"--Publisher's description.
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ChaoticMissAdventures
The Book of Mother: A Novel | Violaine Huisman
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#lettergame #letterb
@Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks

August is Women in Translation month, so I wanted to use the letter game to highlight a few amazing translated books, I have been a bit obsessed with French novels lately and Book of Mother was just the right book for this, it is a bit dark, but beautifully written and packs a punch in a slim volume.

review
nathandrake1997
The Book of Mother: A Novel | Violaine Huisman
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Pickpick

Trigger warning: Grief, mental health, suicide
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Grief, you unfathomable gossamer of an emotion. You always have this nasty habit of swooping in at the most inopportune moment. Some of us were probably having their evening cup of tea/coffee, some of us were probably walking our way back home after a film screening, some of us were probably having supper, some of us had probably just woken up....(continued in comments)

nathandrake1997 ....in a way all of us were in the middle of something, when lo and behold, you barge into our existence akin to an uninvited guest. The tone of my aforementioned sentences sounds angry? Well, the closest to a courtesy you could have done was probably given us some form of notice? 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....It was supposed to be just like any other morning. I was supposed to go to the restroom as soon as waking up. But when I opened the door, you decided to show me your uninvited face instead. And, it's almost been two years since, but you still refuse to leave.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....Violaine was supposed to go to work. But you instead decided to barge into her life through a phone call and in doing so, you rendered looking at the sun through a train window in a completely different context for her. A context that bears your indelible stamp.... 2mo
See All 9 Comments
nathandrake1997 .....Catherine,

When we are young, people hype life up as a boulevard. Only while growing up, we realise the boulevard is actually a boulevard of broken dreams.....
2mo
nathandrake1997 .....Every turn unfathomably steep, every path strewn with infinitesimal yet piercing shards of glass, every choice a veiled instance of disappointment, disappointment is a gross understatement, every ray of sunlight a subtle yet profound threat of what lies ahead..... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....When you spoke about how you wanted to avenge your existence by retaliating against the root of all the debris strewn in its path, life itself, my heart wept along with yours, because life has dealt us a hand whose grasp we'd rather miss had we known. Had we known.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 .....THE BOOK OF MOTHER is Violaine Huisman's debut novel, an attempt for her to make sense of her grief, doing so by telling the story of her mother Catherine who was depressed her entire life and commited suicide at the age of 62..... 2mo
nathandrake1997 .....Huisman calls her narrative form as "a story in search of a form". We get first person monologues, third person narration, occasional poetry, occasional historical vignettes, a kaleidoscope of a form that presents a picture both fragmented and vivid.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 .....In a way, its not about what the fragments eventually coalesce into, but rather about what said coalescence makes us feel. And what it makes us feel is probably the answer that Huisman is looking for. 2mo
11 likes9 comments
review
MicheleinPhilly
The Book of Mother: A Novel | Violaine Huisman
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Pickpick

A very light pick that I probably wouldn‘t actually recommend to anyone unless you‘re a masochist. It made me wildly uncomfortable which isn‘t necessarily a bad thing, but it really felt like a chore to get through after a brilliant Part 1. There are some moments of beauty and brilliance but not enough to compensate for the sheer misery. Also, the mother in question can not be trusted around the family dogs which is a HUGE 🚫 for me.

TrishB I‘m not rushing! 2mo
Suet624 Haha. I remember liking this one but I love this review. 2mo
42 likes2 comments
blurb
GatheringBooks
The Book of Mother: A Novel | Violaine Huisman
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#MayMoms Day 29: Perfect for #MomInTitle - alongside husband‘s meat spaghetti that perfectly captures my mother‘s recipe. Comfort meal.

Aims42 It‘s not even 8AM where I‘m at, but I now want spaghetti for breakfast 🤤 That looks amazing! 3mo
Eggs Great pic 🍝 3mo
Simona I really liked this book, and I was sad when it didn‘t make it to the International Booker Prize shortlist. 3mo
67 likes3 comments
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GatheringBooks
The Book of Mother: A Novel | Violaine Huisman
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#MayMoms Day 20: I gather that this is a bit of a #Scandalous mom. Newest book purchase. Review is forthcoming. Looking forward to reading it.

jlhammar I'm looking forward to this one too. Have it in my TBR stack. 3mo
Eggs ❤️💙❤️ 3mo
52 likes2 stack adds2 comments
review
sarahbarnes
The Book of Mother: A Novel | Violaine Huisman
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Pickpick

Such a beautiful book. As a daughter and a mother to a daughter, I think this story depicts so well the complexities and heartache of that relationship - which seem universal even though the details are unique.

BarbaraBB Great review. I enjoyed it too. 4mo
26 likes1 comment
blurb
BarbaraBB
The Book of Mother: A Novel | Violaine Huisman
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#bookreport 15/22

I finished two books for #ReadingAfrica2022, the tagged one was longlisted for the #InternationalBookerPrize20222 and I have been reading some Dutch fiction which I hardly ever do but have been in the mood for lately.

Simona I can relate to this - I hardly ever read Slovenian authors, but this year I already have read three 🤷🏻‍♀️ 4mo
BarbaraBB @Simona That is interesting. Why would that be? I am wondering why I am suddenly reading Dutch authors 4mo
Megabooks I noticed you were suddenly reading more Dutch authors. Perhaps you want to feel your own experience (as far as language and culture) reflected more strongly right now. 🤷🏻‍♀️ also, I might find it comforting to read something familiar too. But perhaps I am projecting my own feelings. 💜 4mo
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BarbaraBB @Megabooks Interesting thoughts. I mostly avoid my own language and culture because it feels a bit claustrophobic - the Netherlands are so small I often recognize the setting or feel like the mc could have been my neighbor. Reading English just keeps a distance I appreciate. I can‘t just read American novels though, that gets too American at times (no offense!) so I‘m glad for translated literature and the reading the world challenges. ⬇️ (edited) 4mo
BarbaraBB @Megabooks I like to travel (as you know!), by books as well. So I really wonder why I suddenly read Dutch while I‘ve been aching to leave the Netherlands/Amsterdam for a while after two years of Covid. You might be right about feeling my own experience, I hadn‘t thought of that! 😘 4mo
Simona @BarbaraBB I can strongly understand what you meant with claustrophobic - that is the reason why I don‘t read Slovenian authors so often. It is always more interesting to read about others misery, than about familiar depressing surroundings … and the neighbours‘ grass is always more green, isn‘t it? 😘 4mo
Megabooks Interesting. I see your point about translated literature and your love of travel and escaping your everyday. I‘d imagine a lot of Dutch novels are set in Amsterdam like NYC for American or London for British. I can relate to the claustrophobia a bit because I feel that way about Kentucky at times. I love traveling through lit as well, but more because there are a lot of places I am not likely to see. You gave me a lot to think about! 💜 4mo
55 likes7 comments
review
BarbaraBB
The Book of Mother: A Novel | Violaine Huisman
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Pickpick

Elsa‘s and Violaine‘s mother, Catherine is beautiful, brilliant and bipolar; she is a dancer who is determined to live life to the max. Why would she give up her right to freedom? Just because she has two kids?

After the war and the bleak fifties in France, she parties, argues, drinks and makes love throughout the sixties. Despite their mother's unpredictability, her daughters love her unconditionally.

TrishB Great pic and review👍🏻 sounds like a good read. If a man was doing this no one would bat an eye lid. 4mo
britt_brooke Perfect photo! 4mo
BarbaraBB @TrishB Exactly! You‘d almost say she lived like a man 🤣. However it‘s a French book so there‘s a lot of dark drama. It‘s in fact a heavy and sad book 🤷🏻‍♀️ (edited) 4mo
See All 16 Comments
BarbaraBB @britt_brooke Thanks! It was spontaneous by my daughter but worked out well 😀 4mo
LeahBergen Great review and fabulous photo! I love the peek at your Persephones and NYRBs. 😊 4mo
CBee Love this photo!! 4mo
BarbaraBB @LeahBergen of course you notice them 🤣! I like to display some of them in my living room 😇 4mo
Megabooks I love this picture!! 4mo
BarbaraBB @CBee @Megabooks Thanks! I was pleased with the result too 😉 4mo
squirrelbrain Fab picture! 4mo
BarbaraBB @squirrelbrain Thanks Helen 🤍 4mo
Cathythoughts Great picture 👌🏻 4mo
batsy What a lovely photo! And the discreet stacks of NYRBs and Persephones 😍 4mo
sarahbarnes Great review - this one is up next for me and now I‘m more excited to read it. And such a great photo! 4mo
Suet624 I love all of this and I appreciate the way you wrote about the book. 4mo
erzascarletbookgasm Terrific photo 👍 4mo
88 likes1 stack add16 comments
review
Simona
The Book of Mother: A Novel | Violaine Huisman
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Pickpick

The story of children's unconditional love for their mother, the cycle of abuse repeated from generation to generation, how to break this cycle, psychological problems/illnesses, the role of a woman/mother ... are some topics from this intimate story of a daughter (and her sister), whose task is to keep the mother alive and happy. Genre-wise, the story is autofiction, and I understood it as an attempt to reshape the past, give meaning to … 👇

Simona … maternal love, and give the voice to a woman who has battled demons for all her life. Well constructed story, where the second part (narrated by Maman) is weaker than first and third part, in an otherwise excellent, emotional narrative, but it is also true that with this narrative turn the author constructively forms a divided story into a rounded whole. 4mo
kspenmoll Fantastic review! 4mo
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Simona Thank you @kspenmoll ☺️ 4mo
Suet624 Having read the book myself I can only say that this is the best review for the book I‘ve read. so far. Wish I‘d been able to write it. 😊 (edited) 4mo
Simona ☺️Thank you @Suet624 I often feel that way, especially while reading reviews from @batsy and @nathandrake1997 and I often wish that my written English would be more expressive🤷🏻‍♀️ I read and listen English language without problems, but express my thoughts, well that is more complicated 🤷🏻‍♀️ 4mo
batsy Thank you for your kind words Simona and I think you express yourself beautifully in English. I always look forward to your reviews 💜 I agree about @nathandrake1997 crafting book reviews with care and thought 🤩 4mo
nathandrake1997 @Simona Thank you so much ❤️❤️❤️❤️ Your reviews are exquisite ❤️❤️❤️❤️ 4mo
nathandrake1997 @batsy Honestly, this is a total fanboy moment for me ❤️❤️❤️❤️ You are my favourite on this platform and you praising my work means the world to me ❤️❤️❤️❤️ 4mo
51 likes1 stack add9 comments
review
Suet624
The Book of Mother: A Novel | Violaine Huisman
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Pickpick

Read this in one day which always provides more of an emotional punch. The author writes of her life with her mother, a wild, magnetic, emotionally disturbed woman who has suffered through much of her life as a result of her upbringing and her own choices. It‘s a roller coaster ride written by a loving daughter and a fascinating read. This won‘t be a book for everyone, though, that‘s for sure. Long list - #bookerprizeinternational2022

LeahBergen Great review! 👍 4mo
Suet624 @LeahBergen Thank you, Leah. 4mo
batsy This sounds great. I'm trying to read the books from the longlist that I think won't make the cut, because as usual I've left it too late. Hopefully this one makes the shortlist! 4mo
See All 8 Comments
Suet624 @batsy it‘s hard to keep up with all the reading! After the Tournament of Books crowned the wrong winner I‘m a little sour. Of course the TOB is a silly yet lively competition. The results can feel very random. Let‘s hope the Booker keeps its head and delivers. 😊 4mo
BarbaraBB Great review. Starting this one now. 4mo
Suet624 @BarbaraBB I‘m curious what you‘ll think of it. 4mo
sarahbarnes Great review! This one is up next for me and I‘m excited to read it. 4mo
Suet624 I‘m interested to see what you think. 😊 4mo
66 likes2 stack adds8 comments
review
rmaclean4
The Book of Mother: A Novel | Violaine Huisman
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Pickpick

A novel about a highly dysfunctional mother from her daughters point of view. Told with great love. 3 🌟

17 likes1 stack add
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ChaoticMissAdventures
The Book of Mother: A Novel | Violaine Huisman
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#readingbracket #fiction @chasjjlee

I am incredibly torn between The Book of Mother and The Love Songs of W.E.B. du Bois. Both are amazing, top 10 of the year books. Book of Mother is a bit more accessible, and at 225pg one I could see myself reading multiple times.

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ChaoticMissAdventures
The Book of Mother: A Novel | Violaine Huisman
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I cannot decide if I loved The Book of the Mother or The Love Songs of W.E.B du Bois more.
For non-fiction The 1619 Project was amazing and should be required reading for Americans.
Overall a good February reading time.

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ChaoticMissAdventures
The Book of Mother: A Novel | Violaine Huisman
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Over the weekend I finished The Promise and read the tagged book. Reminding me how much I love a good under 300 page book that packs a punch. My perfect book seems to be either 225 or 800 pages. Here are some of my favorite small but fierce novels
My Sister The Serial Killer
Drive Your Plow Over The Bones Of The Dead
The Vegetarian
On Earth We Are Briefly Gorgeous
The Book Of Mother
The Promise

review
ChaoticMissAdventures
The Book of Mother: A Novel | Violaine Huisman
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Pickpick

I loved this. I have a thing for little French novels and this did not disappoint. The story is harsh, brutal, loving and gorgeous. I am ordering a copy so I can reread it and highlight all my favorite lines. I also need to hunt down an English interview because I want to know how much of this is based on the author's life.

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ChaoticMissAdventures
The Book of Mother: A Novel | Violaine Huisman
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So good.

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ChaoticMissAdventures
The Book of Mother: A Novel | Violaine Huisman
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Very much enjoying this book.

Suet624 I loved this quote too. 4mo
19 likes1 comment
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ChaoticMissAdventures
The Book of Mother: A Novel | Violaine Huisman
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I have been very into French authors lately, if you have any recommendations please drop them below!

jlhammar You might enjoy this one 6mo
jlhammar I remember really enjoying this one several years back 6mo
jlhammar You may have read this one already, but it's a good one 6mo
ChaoticMissAdventures @jlhammar I have read, Elegance, the other 2 sound exactly what I am looking to sink into! Thank you so much! Ordering them now. 6mo
15 likes4 comments