Monday, May 9, 2022

Book Review: One in Me I Never Loved

By Marisa Appleton

A poignant collage of stories of women young and old, this novel explores passion, bad decisions, and the scars left by relationships over time. Margarita suspects that her husband is having an affair with one of his students. Elizabeth tries to escape a shallow life of privilege in New York City in the fifties. Doris Dana, Gabriela Mistral's lover and executor, enjoys a passionate night of sex and alcohol with a childhood friend. Juliana, an eighty-plus-year-old baker, is eager to find the woman who changed the course of her life. Anne, the caretaker of a building, leaves in search of her true identity, while her mother must confront her deepest secret for the first time. 

One in Me I Never Loved is a story about many different women whose stories collide and intertwine throughout their lives. This novella has a backdrop of New York City with the main protagonist being Margarita, a 56-year-old woman who is suspicious that her husband is cheating on her. The story surrounds Margarita, with all the other women having some sort of connection to her. She is focused on finding Anne, a woman who worked in her building and mysteriously disappeared one day without leaving a trace. I found Margarita’s story the most intriguing and wished the novella had focused more on her and the mystery of Anne. I appreciated the variety of women in the novel, and the fact that it is a translation from Spanish. 

While I enjoyed reading this book as a quick read, I found it quite hard to follow. The characters intertwine but you receive little to no background information on them. This makes it incredibly hard to follow. I found myself constantly having to go back to figure out who we were talking about. This disjointedness meant it was hard to immerse yourself in the story and hard to care about the characters. Even now, after finishing the story, I am struggling to remember what happened and who the characters were. While it was by no means a bad book, it just was not my favourite. Maybe if I read it again I could find the smaller connections which would make the novella much more interesting! Nevertheless, if you get the opportunity to read this novella, definitely give it a chance!

Thanks to Other Press for the book in exchange for an honest review.

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1 comment:

The Reading Frenzy said...

This is on my shelf! thanks for sharing