Read La donna è un'isola by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir Stefano Rosatti Online

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Lei ha trentatre anni, traduce testi per riviste specialistiche dall'islandese in undici lingue straniere, e consegna a domicilio i suoi lavori. Porta i capelli cortissimi, ama correre, e per entrare in casa degli amici non passa mai dalla porta principale ma scavalca i recinti e attraversa i giardini. È sposata da quattro anni e non ha, e non desidera avere, figli. Per coLei ha trentatre anni, traduce testi per riviste specialistiche dall'islandese in undici lingue straniere, e consegna a domicilio i suoi lavori. Porta i capelli cortissimi, ama correre, e per entrare in casa degli amici non passa mai dalla porta principale ma scavalca i recinti e attraversa i giardini. È sposata da quattro anni e non ha, e non desidera avere, figli. Per contro, ha un'amica, Auður, una musicista squinternata che vive in un regime di totale anarchia: ha avuto un figlio, Tumi, che è sordo e ha gravi problemi di vista, e ora aspetta una coppia di gemelle da un altro uomo che non frequenta piú.Inizia la storia. Nella stessa serata la protagonista investe un'oca, la raccoglie per poi cucinarla; visita il suo amante promettendosi che è l'ultima volta; consulta una sorta di chiaroveggente che le predice alcuni eventi che poi si verificheranno, fra cui una fortunata vincita alla lotteria dei sordomuti; torna a casa e il marito le dichiara di punto in bianco che vuole separarsi e che ama un'altra che aspetta già un figlio da lui. Per la protagonista è evidentemente tempo di cambiamenti.Decide cosí di prendersi una vacanza, anche se è novembre e piove ininterrottamente, e di fare un viaggio insieme a Tumi, che le è stato affidato da Auður prima per pochi giorni, poi per un tempo non ben determinato. I due iniziano un periplo di un'isola che assomiglia all'Islanda, in compagnia di alcuni peluche, una cassa di libri, tre pesci rossi e un gatto. Durante questo viaggio la donna e il bambino vivranno magiche avventure e incontreranno strani personaggi, ma soprattutto impareranno un modo tutto loro per comunicare, capirsi e volersi bene. Un possibile senso di maternità.Chiude il libro una bizzarra appendice, quarantasette ricette di cucina raccontate in maniera romanzata: si va dalle polpette di pesce al pane con salmone affumicato, dal riso al latte al dolce di Natale, dalla bistecca di balena all'oca farcita, ma c'è anche la ricetta del caffè imbevibile, o quella di un dolce solo sognato. A chiudere, la spiegazione di come si fanno le calze di lana ai ferri....

Title : La donna è un'isola
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9788806215415
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 272 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

La donna è un'isola Reviews

  • karen
    2019-06-09 17:46

    this book is like being forced to watch amelie on a loop while bjork makes you snort pixie stix.individually, all those things are great, but there's a point where it just becomes too much - a quirky overload; a birthday party where manic children hopped up on frosting throw whimsy at the wall to see what'll stick. it's not entirely twee - it definitely has its dark moments (animals will die) but it was just so… much. it was too willfully eccentric for me: an emotionally detached and unnamed woman who makes her living as a translator, fluent in upwards of ten languages but also somewhere on the spectrum is dumped by her lover and her husband on the same day, visits a fortune teller, is responsible for the death of a goose, wins two different lotteries and, despite not liking children at all, embarks on an icelandic road trip with tumi; the son of a friend who isa deaf four-year-old clairvoyant boy with poor eyesight and one leg three centimetres shorter than the other, which makes him limp when he is only wearing his sockswhere she engages in casual sex (not with tumi, obviously), oddly misogynist observations, her brand of nostalgia, an estonian choir, butterflies-as-metaphor, and it ends with more than forty recipes and some knitting tips.it's just too muchthis reads like a fairy tale in its reliance on coincidence, convenient narrative turns, and groupings of threes: It's all threes here,' she says, 'three men in your life over a distance of 300 kilometres, three dead animals, three minor accidents or mishaps… (view spoiler)[although by my count, there are actually four animals: goose, fish, sheep, whale. four species, with more than four actual animals involved. but i'm not gonna argue with a fortune teller. that's how you get cursed. (hide spoiler)]it was surreal in a way that felt uncontrolled; sloppy and off-kilter, and its supposed charm never reached me through its aimless and circular meandering. i have been assured that the translation is not the best, so that might have something to do with it, on top of my unfamiliarity with icelandic literature and my allergy to the picaresque. not for karen. maybe for you.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Elyse
    2019-06-02 18:19

    4.5 I adore many things about this book! Its clever -unique -offbeat and quirky. At the same time there are powerful, (and funny), conversations around marriage, divorce, adultery, work values, and the responsibility of taking care of a child. (with special needs) I'm not sure why the narrator has no name, but I enjoyed her character. We know many things about the narrator. She provides proof-reading services and revise BA theses and articles for specialized magazines and publications on any subject. She revises electoral speeches and she can translate from eleven languages both into and out of Icelandic, including Russian, Polish, and Hungarian. On the same day her lover wants to end their affair --her husband wants a divorce. This woman handles being dumped twice in one day like a 'champ'! Her husband begins to tell her the many reasons why she is not a good wife, and why he must leave her after their almost 5 years of marriage. He says to her, "You have a pretty weird idea of marriage, to say the least, you go out jogging in the middle of the night, dinner is never at the same time. Who else--apart from Sicilians --do you think would eat Wiener Schnitzel at eleven? Then when I get home on Tuesday you've cooked a four-course meal on a total whim, a Christmas dinner in October." He says, "I mean you speak eleven languages that you practically learnt in your sleep, if your mother is to be believed, and what do you do with your talents?" She says, "Use them in my work".He says, "Having a child might have changed you, smoothed your edges a bit. But still, what kind of mother would behave the way you do?" This conversation goes on. The narrator does not get defensive as her husband continues to say some silly things. She is clear about herself. She has a way of 'waiting' and 'listening' and 'not reacting' that works in her favor. People can take a lesson from this woman. She's thinking: "It isn't motherly warmth that men come looking for in me and they're not particularly drawn to my breasts either". She keeps many thoughts to herself. She thinks before she speaks. Her husband speaks without thinking. He does not appreciate her being bright and chirpy in the morning-and tells her so. He does not appreciate the nuances of linguistics over their morning porridge, and tells her so. He rather talk about more cozy things such as washing powder. So, Our narrator gets dumped! She doesn't seem to mind to much. The story begins. The journey begins. A new bonding-relationship develops with our narrator and Tumi (a little 4 year old deaf mute child). Of course they win -not one -but **TWO** lottery tickets. Money is of no concern to travel around Iceland. Many more adventures ahead for the readers pleasure! At the end of the book is a list of recipes. I'm not usually a fan of novels that interweave recipes within the story --but because these recipes were all at the end of the book --I not only didn't mind, -I found them fun-enduring. I was left laughing. "Icelandic wild goose with apples and prunes"? Or, "Whale Blubber", anyone? A delicious novel!

  • Rebecca Foster
    2019-06-12 14:47

    First published in her native Iceland in 2004 but not available in English translation until last year, Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir’s Butterflies in November is a whimsical, feminist road trip novel.The unnamed narrator is a translator based in Reykjavík. When her best friend slips on an icy sidewalk and breaks her arm, it falls to the narrator to care for the friend’s deaf-mute four-year-old son, Tumi. Leaving behind romantic troubles and boosted by not one but two lottery wins, she and the boy set off on a snowy voyage around Iceland’s Ring Road, with plenty of madcap adventures ahead.The subtle joke behind the novel’s format, of course, is that Iceland is a small country and this is a circular road – a metaphorical road to nowhere. The plot is rather scattered and uneven, with uproarious mishaps followed by tedious passages. A strangely irrelevant (and indulgent) 35-page appendix of recipes may also put some readers off.However, in this kooky fictional world where “nothing is as it should be any more,” where butterflies are still flying in November, the narrator’s tragicomic travels should still strike a chord.Recommended for fans of zany Scandinavian fiction (such as The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson, or Doppler by Erlend Loe).(See my full review at For Books' Sake.)

  • Sera
    2019-06-11 17:34

    Baştaki eğlenceli dilin kitabın geri kalanında da devam etmesini isterdim. Yol hikayesine dönüşmesinden itibaren tek şenlikli yanı İzlanda havası solutmasıydı. Anneliğe uzak olduğunu söyleyen bir kadının arkadaşının çocuğu sayesinde farklı bir yöne adım atmasına dair anlar hiç değilse Hollywood ya da oryantalizm klişeliğinde değildi ama psikolojik derinliği azdı. İzlanda yemekleri, yollardaki İzlandalılar, birlikte olduğu erkekler, yükseklik korkusuna rağmen niyeyse pat diye bungee jumping yapması derken elimize pek de bir şey geçtiği söylenemez. Feminist bir yol hikayesi havası var ama bu vaadini pek fazla yerine getirmiyor.

  • Banushka
    2019-06-11 16:29

    sıcacık bir izlanda romanı. kocasının terk ettiği bir kadın yanında arkadaşının işitme engelli küçük oğluyla kilometrelerce bir yolculuğa çıkar.işte bu yolculuk kızkardeşlik, annelik, erkekler, kocalar, yollar, zamanında terk edilenler, çocukluk ve anılar üzerine kocaaa bir roman oluyor.iskandinav edebiyatının o garip duygusallığı ve mizahı yine bir arada. çok seviyorum <3romanın sonundaki yemek tarifleri de apayrı bir yaratıcılık örneği :)sonlara doğru çeviride ve düzeltide sorunlar olsa da göze batmıyor.pinhan yayıncılık umarım bu edebiyat dizisine devam eder, seçilen kitaplar çok güzel çünkü.

  • Susan
    2019-06-05 18:41

    The narrator of this quirky and unique nove is a thirty three year old woman with a gift for languages, who works as a translator and proof reader. When we meet her she has been both dumped by her lover and told by her husband that he is leaving her for another woman, who is soon to have his child. Her friend, Audor, (my apologies for not being to type Icelandic names with the appropriate letters/typeface) is, like her, something of an outsider. She already has a young son, Tumi, who is hearing and vision impaired, and is pregnant again, but not married. When she comes to visit to console her friend on the end of her marriage, she slips and hurts herself - while she is taken to hospital, she asks her friend to collect Tumi from kindergarten. To add to the recent upheaval, after being told that she should buy lottery tickets, our narrator soon finds that she has won twice - firstly the prize of a prefabricated cottage, which she asks to be placed in the location where her grandmother once lived, and secondly for the astounding amount of forty million kroner. She had already decided to take a trip, but now she must do so with a four year old boy in tow, when she has no experience of children.Everything I have described so far is also mentioned (pretty much) in the blurb and happens in the first couple of chapters. The novel is concerned with the trip itself - a bizarre road trip through a frozen landscape. On this journey some animals will die, many ex lovers will appear unexpectedly, and our narrator must come to terms with something which happened to her as a young girl, as well as discover what motherhood really means. Unprepared for what lies ahead, her dashboard stuffed with cash, she finds herself responsible for another person - a vulnerable and intelligent child - for the first time in her life. This trip will change her profoundly and alter the course of her life forever.This is a difficult novel to describe. It is quirky, often funny, sometimes a little shocking and profoundly moving. I have not read anything by this author before, but I am sure that this just made it into my list of favourite books. Set in an amost alien landcape, it is completely different in attitude and approach, and will challenge the way you think. I am extremely glad that I read it and Pushkin Press are becoming, more and more, a publisher that I trust for quality and original books.

  • Ken Fredette
    2019-06-13 17:27

    This was a whackoo book. It;s interesting in the least. A woman gets a divorce from there husband who has a child with another woman. Has many encounters with men then takes on a 4 year old boy and wins the lottery and a summer home, travels half way around Iceland and learns a lesson from the boy. Interesting.

  • Diane Challenor
    2019-06-11 14:45

    A good read! The pace is gentle, the writing is full of good tuneful prose with unusual (quirky) delights. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed if you choose this book for your next read. I enjoyed the book so much I've written a blog about it at Artuccino

  • Girl with her Head in a Book
    2019-06-17 18:38

    It is a well-used plot device to have a nameless narrator, this generally indicates that the lead character feels somehow unnoticed or anonymous. In Butterflies in November, it felt more as if she had genuinely forgotten to introduce herself. The anonymous heroine is somewhat out of touch with the mundane matters of the everyday. Fluent in eleven languages, she is suspicious of language and words in general. As a translator, she points out that no words 'are categorical enough to exclude any possibility of misinterpretation.' Which makes it fairly ironic then that this novel has itself achieved such success in translation. Originally published in Icelandic, Butterflies in November received a rapturous response in France and is apparently going to be made into a film. It begins with the narrator having what one might suppose was a bad day; she is dumped twice (by both her husband and the man she was indifferently having an affair with) and then she accidentally kills a goose. The woman remains rather detached from proceedings however; when her husband explains carefully that one of his colleagues will be giving birth to his child within eight weeks, the narrator responds, "Isn't that a rather short pregnancy? Like a guinea pig?" The milk in her fridge is always out of date, she climbs over hedges rather than going through the gate, it is not surprising that she is the last one to notice an affair.Set in Reykjavik, the woman blankly packs up her possessions and repairs to her new studio flat, having occasional sex with her ex-husband as she does so. She plans to take a summer holiday despite the fact that it is now November, which is something of a classic trope for fictional women in their thirties post-divorce. Further complications take this beyond some kind of Eat, Pray, Love-esque quest however (and I am aware that Eat, Pray, Love is based on true events, but still). The narrator's best and only friend is Audur, a single mother who is heavily pregnant with equally fatherless twins. She slips on ice while attempting to bring the woman some alcohol to commiserate with and is dragged off to hospital to rest up before the delivery, meaning that her deaf-mute son Tumi is in need of guardianship. Enter the woman.For my full review:http://girlwithherheadinabook.blogspo...

  • Ginny_1807
    2019-05-27 19:29

    StranoRacconto di un viaggio a tratti trasognato attraverso una Islanda novembrina immersa nella pioggia. Protagonista-narrante è una giovane donna piuttosto eccentrica, che intende imprimere una svolta alla propria vita dopo la separazione (peraltro non molto dolorosa) dal marito; l'accompagna il figlio di un'amica, un bambino di quattro anni con problemi fisici. Non si può certo affermare che questo libro sia esente da difetti: la trama è fragile, a tratti sconclusionata; si verificano circostanze bizzarre, non sempre credibili e con un sentore di magico che che lascia alquanto perplessi; alcuni dei temi introdotti non vengono sviluppati in maniera esaustiva e certi personaggi restano mere apparizioni prive di concretezza.Tuttavia a me è piaciuto, l'ho trovato originale e gradevole, perché la prosa vivace coinvolge, i panorami descritti affascinano e il tono leggero, quasi scanzonato della narrazione suscita simpatia, complicità. In particolare, intenerisce il rapporto che viene via via rinsaldandosi tra la donna disorientata, alla ricerca di sé stessa, e il bambino "difficile", troppo saggio per la sua età. Entrambi trarranno vantaggi dalla reciproca vicinanza in termini di tolleranza, comprensione e amore. Ad insolita conclusione del romanzo, una spassosa appendice con quarantasette ricette di cucina e una scheda di istruzioni per lavorare a maglia calzini da neonato, che a mio avviso non è da considerare a sé stante, ma parte imprescindibile dell'intero contesto.

  • Cara
    2019-06-20 17:37

    Free from Goodreads Giveaways - There's not much in this, plotwise, but for some reason I can't quite put my finger on, I really liked it. Maybe because it was simple and didn't really pretend to be anything too big, though the author might disagree with that. A woman in Iceland gets dumped by her husband and her boyfriend, gets stuck with her friend's kid while she's in the hospital, and goes on a road trip around the island. That's about it. Towards the end, it started to remind me a bit of Latin American magical realism, but only slightly.

  • Anmiryam
    2019-06-10 14:43

    Odd and quirky. This is the perfect book to read while on a trip around Iceland's ring road, or any other time you are looking for an allusive and darkly funny book. More when I get back home and have time to do more than hike up volcanic mountains and drink in scenery.

  • Jennifer
    2019-05-22 13:42

    this is thoughtful and contemplative novel; one that dwells in darkness (and lack of sunshine), yet manages to be hopeful at the same time. it was an interesting experience reading this book. when one thinks about road trip novels, a circular road around iceland is probably not the first journey that pops into your mind. and i think that was part of the hook for me into the story. the narrator, desperate for escape, can really only go so far before she ends up back where she began. but isn't it always more about the journey than the destination? and the journey here was so weird. the quirk factor is high with this book. for me, it mostly worked and felt strangely relatable. i enjoyed that iceland featured as a character, and that the imperfections of the narrator were made obvious. the ending is not tied up neatly, so if you prefer that in your fiction you may struggle with this book a bit. as well, the end of the story leads into a lengthy inclusion of recipes (and some commentary) which featured in the novel. i didn't love this part and found it a jarring transition. i am also wondering about the translation -- at times things felt very clunky and uneven. for example, the word 'conjugal' cropped up a few times. it's a word that kind of sticks out, especially when repeated. and i can't say it's a word i encounter a lot, day-to-day. in a search on my kobo, it cropped up 6 times: 'conjugal life' (x2); 'conjugal bed' (x3); 'conjugal bliss (x1). this is one of the issues that made me think about the translation - did the author use this word or did the translator select it? perhaps i notice strange things when i read and this is only a 'thing' in my own mind? it is entirely possible. :)overall, i enjoyed this book - though it's not one i would blanket recommend to everyone. it feels like a story that could translate well to film. (oh - hey, IMDB! the website indicates this is project in development with french actress/producer Judith Godrèche.)3 ½-stars, if we could do that here.

  • Bre Teschendorf
    2019-05-31 19:41

    This book is a translation from the original Icelandic and I am hoping that the translator just did a really bad job... because I couldn't grasp anything about this book at all. I kept thinking I was on track and then nope... completely up in outer-space again! I 100% expected to find out, at the end of the book, that the entire thing was a dream sequence. (Especially after the part with the doctor and the horse-meat sausages. That was like a something straight out of Twin Peaks.) It was just too strange and other-worldly to be passed off as something actually happening on planet earth.The jumps between moments in the book were so dream like; first an agonizingly slow moment, (not a direct quote, but it could be) "I realized it was lunch time. He must be thirsty. I dug in my purse, I found a chocolate milk, I took the plastic off of the straw, without turning around in my seat, I reached back and handed it to him. He extended his hand. He took it. He put the straw to his mouth. He took a drink. I looked at him in the rearview mirror and smiled (.....) We pulled into a gas station for dinner. I looked at my watch. 10:00pm. So much darkness." And I am thinking, "Where did those six house go between lunch time and the gas station?" The entire book made time feel irrelevant or strangely off sync... which felt sloppy to me, rather than artsy. Another reviewer said that the main character, has strangely mysoginistic thoughts... I would agree with that! I don't see how this could be deemed a "feminist" novel. It is about a completely unrealistic woman, unnamed, who is for some reason randomly sought out by every man she encounters, married or not, for casual sex. (I think that the author is writing about the woman she wishes she could be.) She (the main character) is not intelligent enough to use protection with these random men; she might or might not be pregnant. She is not secure enough to live for even a few weeks without a man. Her entire goal, every time she is out of her car, is to find a man for a casual sexual encounter. When she is in her own thoughts, what is she thinking about, you guessed it: MEN! (Or motherhood.) She is the opposite of empowered. Someone called this book, "willfully whimsical". I would agree with that... Like those people who aren't weird but they are TRYING so hard to be weird, that it just feels attention seeking? There is too much trying in this book. It feels unauthentic. I understand that the Ring-Road around Iceland is a metaphor for this lady's life... Nevertheless, I don't need it pointed out to me, more than 3x that the ring road is round, that you can drive aROUND the island, that you end up where you started if you keep going aROUND and oh by the way... ha ha ha ha... this road is ROUND! Amazing! There are other bad moments of just plain bad writing (or translating)... One example, in one of her strange casual sexual encounters the main character leaves her car with a man she just picked up on the side of the road, to follow him into a desert of lava rocks but she says, "without however, ever took my eyes off of the car on the side of the road." (In which she left a sleeping 4 yr old... great...) (pg. 182)I tried to imagine this 1,000 different ways and I cannot find any scenario in which you an walk AWAY from a car and not take your eyes off of it. Or, when she hits the sheep. "The boy", as he is constantly referred to, is in the back seat but somehow manages to vomit all over the dashboard. That is some serious projectial vomit.... The supposed 4 yr old is so ridiculously above his years, at moments, that I couldn't even begin to fathom him. He wasn't just a precarious 4 yr old. He was a ridiculous character. Now, onto the fortune tellers prediction at the beginning of the book... I was unsure why that was even in the book? I was unsure if her predictions came true or not. The ambiguity of it all made me furious. I felt like the author teased me with expectation that then turned out to be completely pointless. The flashbacks to the main charachters childhood were interesting and perhaps the most drawing thing about the book... but much like the fortune teller at the end of the book, where was no closure, no real link between them, I was left wondering, "what was the point?" and again feeling teased and unsatisfied! Ugh! When I had finished the novel I went back and re-read the italicized opening hoping to find some kind of symetry. I didn't find anything. And that is the biggest disappointment of all. There was NOTHING of substance in this book. I think this part of the book can sum up the whole book, the main character is thinking to herself, "Mistakes are rarely the outcome of a logical sequence of decisions." (Like I said, the opposite of empowered.... Things just happen to this woman, she is THAT weak and that unwilling to account for her mistakes.) I so completely disagree with that sentence that I don't even know where to begin. The one thing in this book that was seriously interesting was a peek into Icelandic culture. The book itself was so bazaar, that I am left wondering how realistic that peek is? Can I take from this book a general impression of Iceland or would I be sadly misguided in doing so? I wish that there was more substance to the book so that I could clearly think, "Wow, that was a nice mini-eduaction into Iceland. What an interesting place." Sadly the author has robbed me of that certainly... Perhaps that was her intention, Keep Iceland Mysterious.

  • Denisa T.
    2019-05-22 19:26

    Skvělé bizarní hlavní postavy a prostor krásného Islandu. Tohle mě moc bavilo!

  • Lily
    2019-05-23 14:27

    It was wonderfully odd, and the narrator was interesting but very detached from everyone else in the novel, which I was never sure whether it was to do with the translation or something intended by the author. For a novel so aware of itself and invested in the power of words and nuances in languages (the narrator translates from and into eleven languages and subtleties in language are often referred to throughout), the translation itself felt rather messy and not indicative of any of the qualities really explored within the narration. Similarly, the narrator didn't feel as clever as everyone else seemed to say.Only the narrator and the friend's son Tumi felt explored in any depth though, and even then not as much as I'd have liked. Their relationship was sweet but somehow unchallenging to a woman who self-declared herself to have no maternal instincts. Ardur and the narrator's mother were at least recognisable when they weren't named, but I had a hard time telling any of the men in the novel, named or not, from one another (which may be intentional) but also everyone else they met also sounded the same, too. Even down to tone, word choice, odd summarising of some event, sentence structure. At some points, I wasn't sure of these other people she met were real, as they certainly didn't stand out in any way or feel less than props.The novel has plenty of quirks and ideas that got me thinking. I wasn't fully sure how to respond to the frequent generalisations about things (examples being disabled children and women), especially coming from a female narrator and author; they didn't offend in the way they would have from an American or British author, but somehow gave insight into Icelandic culture and how it too is trapped in these old ways of thinking about people, wih less influences to affect change on them. I did find the narrator's conflicts between her passive need for a man, the idea of fate, and her own discovery that she enjoyed independence and could change her 'fate' to be with a man though her will do do other things, to be interesting and somehow arresting though. I myself often feel rather old fashioned for enjoying the image that I might have a man and family and that cliched unit one day, while also enjoying independence, so the attitude of the narrator despite her other huge generalisations, felt close to myself in this at least. A strange but realistic depiction of an everyday woman, maybe? We might all know feminism to be a good and powerful thing and some of us act accordingly, but if you're raised in cultures with little regard for it and are tied up in the random everyday stuff and people, do you really live what you certainly know or believe, in your everyday life?As much as I loved the totally random (and at the same time realistic sort of random) events and actions and thoughts throughout this story, and the insight into a culture and a maybe on-the-fence-controversial viewpoint I've never read about before, I think I was expecting much more of this novel from reading the first quarter than what actually transpired in the story. The ending didn't feel like an ending, but another pause between chapters. The snippets of backstory italicised throughout never really came together or anything either, leaving a smoggy mystery over the point of them and whether I might have missed something. The hints aren't strong enough to say for certain, and if this story lacked anything, it was perhaps some grounding in a point or direction tying things together. Too much was only 'hinted' at and never explored. But perhaps this was intended, as real life and our recollections and reflections while on such journeys also surely lack those things? I do wish I could read Icelandic however, and read this novel as the author wrote it. Despite my criticisms here, the novel was easy to read and enjoyable, even if just for it's sheer and often entertaining randomness and how it gave me plenty to think about.

  • Tamsien West (Babbling Books)
    2019-05-25 13:28

    An incredibly strange novel in which a fortune teller’s predictions come true and not much else happens. I really wanted to like Butterflies in November, it is a novel translated into English from Icelandic, and written by a female author, both things I am trying to read more of. But the disjointed narrative style and the lack of resolution of any plot lines made it an unsatisfying read.The narrator and protagonist is a thirty-ish year old woman, who beings the novel married, childless and spending time in the arms of her divorced lover. Though most of those things have changed completely by the end of the story, they are not the fulcrum around which it hinges. The plot basically consists of flashbacks to her childhood Summers in Eastern Iceland, and the present day, in which through a series of rather random occurrences she finds herself caring for a child and going on a roadtrip around Iceland.The plot is bizarre. It is almost completely revealed in a fortune teller’s prediction at the start of the novel, and then filled with strange diversions, oddly specific details about places and people, and jumps in time and location which are not delineated in any way. It also ends abruptly, and then is followed by 47 recipes, taken from the text, including ‘Undrinkable coffee’. Oddly enough I found the amusing notes with the recipes more amusing than most of the rest of the story.This novel is a good example of an unreliable narrator, as you are never sure from one paragraph to the next whether something actually happened, was imagined, or occurred in a dream. In some cases it is self-referential, with quotes like “Or perhaps he doesn’t actually say that; in fact it’s fairly unlikely in this setting, right in the middle of cooking, that he would have said something like that…” There were a few interesting insights into life in Iceland, and descriptions of the countryside which I enjoyed. But beyond that I can’t really recommend this novel unless you have a particular love for this detached style of storytelling. I can see how it would appeal to some readers, it does sweep you along, and everything remains so mysterious you don’t feel the need to tie yourself in knots trying to figure out the relationship between the flashbacks and the current day. It wasn’t an unpleasant read, just not one that appealed to me particularly.

  • Lolly K Dandeneau
    2019-05-29 14:30

    This story is certainly quirky and different. For one, reading a novel in Iceland is a nice change of scenery, because it's a first for me. Like it or not, you can't shake it off when you are finished. I am a reader who loves quirk, and this novel didn't fail me...Our narrator is a translator and knows 11 languages, with a deep abiding love for words. As her husband tells her accusingly, " Words, words, words, exactly, your entire life revolves around the definition of words. Wouldn't you like to tell me how they say it in Hungarian?" She is losing her husband because of her strange ways, her awkwardness while charming seems to have become a cross her beloved has had to bear, driving him to a normal woman who is now going to have his baby. There will, however, be one last meal together (the very goose she ran over) and one last love making session, kind man that he is. I did mention the quirkiness, didn't I?Her friend, pregnant with twins, injures herself and needs her to care for her smart, awkward deaf son Tumi. Reluctantly, our narrator with a natural lack of gooey motherly instincts, will take a trip with the four year old little boy who helps her win a lottery, and leads her into amusing situations. There are interactions and strange happenings along the way but we see a bond form and weirdness ensues. It is full of humor, rather than your usual devastation at the loss of a marriage, our narrator's reaction to it all exposes her unique personality. She is clueless but will form a bond with young Tumi, and that is the heart of the story.For those of us that like something fun and different, such a wildly odd story. It is an escape from the usual stuff offered up to readers. I liked it.

  • Lori
    2019-05-23 16:49

    I would give this book a 3.5. I was a goodreads first reads winner of "Butterflies in November" I love that this is the first book I have ever read by an author in Iceland. this book is a bit humor, bit quirky,part contemporary. I enjoyed this book for the most part. the main character is a woman in her thirties. At the beginning of this book she has just drove over a goose, what to do? take it to a butcher have it prepared to eat! same day not a good one her husband has told her he wants a divorce but the gallant guy he is offers to have sex with her one more time. In the same time period a friend is pregnant for twins ready to give birth soon. this person has a four year old boy who wears hearing aids.{ tumi is a very smart boy who can already read pretty well} this friend needs someone to take care of her boy his name is "tumi" but is usually referred to as "the boy". the woman reluctantly agrees to take care of tumi.On the first day of baby sitting. the woman buys a lottery ticket and uses the numbers that the boy picks out. guess who wins the big lottery? now with a bunch of cash stuffed in the glove compartment the woman and the boy take off on a five week road trip. they meet a lot of characters along the way. some good experiences some not so good. this is a very quirky kind of book, that has some good moments.I liked the relationship that slowly developes between the woman and boy. this is a woman who never thought she would want kids. at the end of this book is about 40 recipes from the foods mentioned in the story. I enjoyed this book for the most part.

  • GONZA
    2019-06-04 16:22

    It was just not my cup of tea, as the Nordic Literature in my experience. I just don't understand their humor, their thoughts and in the end the plot in itself, that in my opinion was almost non existent. So 3 stars because I'm really aware that is my fault, but as a matter of fact I won't read something wrote by the same author again.Non era il mio genere di libro, come, nella mia esperienza, non ho mai letto qualcosa che viene dai paesi scandinavi che mi abbia fatto impazzire, gialli compresi. Non capisco il loro sense of humor, non capisco perché pensano quello che pensano e alla fine neanche la trama mi é poi cosí chiara - questa poi mi é sembrata inesistente. Quindi queste tre stelle sono per il fatto che sono consapevole che é colpa mia, ma é anche vero che difficilmente leggeró qualche altro libro di questa stessa autrice.THANKS TO EDELWEISS AND GROVE PRESS, BLACK CAT FOR THE PREVIEW!

  • Kate Lindsay
    2019-06-16 16:26

    This book is insane. I can't tell if it's the translation or the general air of it, but it has a feel like nothing I've ever read. It doesn't hold your hand, it really feels like you woke up in the body of another person, and you have to grapple with it for 200+ pages. It's chilly and sparse, but in an addictive way. Plus, the last 30 pages or so are filled with recipes from the novel, as well as a knitting pattern. It's a tiny little snow globe, an enigma of a book and I'm really glad to have it on my shelf.

  • Aisha
    2019-06-12 20:26

    There is no denying this was a pleasant book to read. It has a very sweet story line where you witness how the main character is changed by the addition of a child into her life and the relationship between the two develops throughout. The plot line is simple to follow and fairly undramatic. In some cases that is the beauty and appeal of the book, as it is relatable to an extent.

  • Claudia
    2019-06-10 17:28

    Il nome dell'autrice è impronunciabile e dubito che lo ricorderò mai, in compenso il libro è di quelli che mi sono entrati nel cuore e che mi sarà impossibile dimenticare, anche se di certo non mi ha invogliato a visitare l'Islanda. Pare, infatti, che una delle attrazioni turistiche sia la regione di Hài-Hamar dove riesce a piovere 295 giorni su 320. Come orgogliosamente afferma la proprietaria dell'agriturismo I cetrioli inattesi, “i turisti non vengono in Islanda per prendere il sole”.D’altra parte, se si E' NATI in Islanda come l'autrice e la sua protagonista, si deve essere anche predisposti geneticamente alla sopravvivenza nel paese di Iceland. Solo così si spiega come possa essere ritenuto “normale” andare in vacanza in novembre, in uno chalet privo di energia elettrica e riscaldamento, chiamare “ondata di caldo” una temperatura di 10 gradi e non scomporsi più di tanto se un bambino di quattro anni si denuda per correre in spiaggia a giocare con i pinguini... Per quanto il titolo italiano sia pertinente, quello originale “Pioggia in novembre” è senza dubbio il più azzeccato.Va da sé che la protagonista tanto normale non è, ma proprio per questo mi ha ispirato un'istintiva simpatia e mi sono completamente immedesimata in lei nonostante le obiettive differenze: età, struttura fisica, background culturale. Lo ammetto, immaginare di avere dieci anni di meno, un fisico atletico e parlare correntemente undici lingue non solo non è stato difficile, ma anche molto gradevole. Proprio sulle lingue – nel mio piccolo a tre più l'italiano arrivo anch'io - ho trovato il maggior punto di contatto: “Conosco tante lingue, forse troppe, ma in fondo non sono mai stata davvero capace di trattare con le parole, di esprimerle faccia a faccia, a un uomo”Il racconto segue il susseguirsi dei pensieri della protagonista - non ci sono dialoghi, se non mediati dalla sua mente - a partire dal giorno in cui la sua vita subisce un drastico cambiamento. Investita un'oca, che medita di cucinare per il marito che le rimprovera sempre le sue scarse virtù domestiche. Giunta a casa scopre che il coniuge si è organizzato decisamente in modo diverso: tra otto settimane avrà un figlio da una collega d'ufficio. Le donne nordiche sono meno melodrammatiche di noi, per cui il commento si limita a un “ Già … non si può lasciare un figlio senza padre” seguito da un “avevo in mente di cucinare l'oca ... potresti fermarti per una cena di addio?” Come si fa a non idolatrare una donna così? Gli uomini, invece, sono uguali ad ogni latitudine. Ovvio che, l'ormai ex-marito, possa fermarsi e, perché no, non limitarsi alla cena. Probabilmente gli islandesi non fanno molto caso al tasso alcolico al volante, ma in ogni caso nessuno disdegna di evitare di mettersi alla guida in una fredda e piovosa notte invernale.Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir, oltre a fare la scrittrice, é assistente universitario in Storia dell'arte e direttore del museo d'arte dell'università d'Islanda Se fin qui la storia è credibile - compatibilmente al diverso atteggiamento culturale verso il sesso, la coppia e il matrimonio - nella realtà è difficile che, dopo essere state abbandonate dal marito, si vincano contemporaneamente uno chalet alla lotteria e una grossa somma al lotto. Ma è per questo che esiste la letteratura. La protagonista decide che si merita una bella vacanza, nonostante sia novembre e piova ininterrottamente da circa 40 giorni. Personalmente avrei scelto una meta esotica, ma come ho detto se si nasce in Islanda la meteorologia ha un'importanza secondaria.Inoltre la sua migliore amica, ragazza madre, incinta all'ottavo mese di due gemelle e costretta ad attendere la data del parto in ospedale, le affida il primogenito, un bimbo di quattro anni sordomuto. L'obiezione di non conoscere il linguaggio dei segni non impressiona la nordica gestante, che confida nell’intelligenza del figlio e nelle capacità linguiste dell’amica. Se conosce undici lingue, non avrà difficoltà a impararne un'altra. Il bambino inoltre è davvero molto intelligente e comunicativo. La strana coppia parte per il suo viaggio lungo la Nazionale Uno, strada il cui pregio è che, essendo circolare, è impossibile perdersi. Prima o poi si ritornerà sempre al punto di partenza.Ho capito fin troppo bene la protagonista, che non avendo mai voluto avere figli, pensa: “Ora la felicità di un'altra persona dipende da me. È molto peggio che essere soli”La realtà spesso si mischia ai ricordi seguendo associazioni d'idee, che aiutano a comprendere il passato della donna. Il viaggio è reale e metaforico insieme, una crescita che finisce con la trasformazione della crisalide in farfalla.L'originalità del libro non si conclude con il racconto. Seguono infatti ben 47 ricette, raccontate più che descritte, che comprendono tutti i piatti che vengono citati nel romanzo. Alcune sono improponibili, come la gelatina di testa di pecora o la bistecca di balena, ma altre sono assolutamente da provare. Ad esempio il miglior dessert da campeggio: prendere una banana, incidere longitudinalmente la buccia e inserire quattro o cinque quadretti di cioccolato fondente. Avvolgere in carta stagnola e lasciare qualche minuto nella brace del barbecue in fase di raffreddamento.Per mangiarla basta raccogliere la polpa direttamente dalla buccia con un cucchiaino. Utilissimo il suggerimento per accompagnarla, eventualmente, con panna montata: mettere la panna liquida in un contenitore con tappo o coperchio (ad esempio una bottiglietta da bibita da mezzo litro vuota) e agitarlo, eventualmente scambiandolo con altri presenti, finchè la panna sarà montata. L'autrice consiglia di berci sopra del Calvados, considerandolo evidentemente una dotazione standard di ogni campeggiatore, avvertendo altresì di evitare il rum Captain Morgan se non si è bevitori di gran fama. Per quelli come me non islandesi e praticamente astemi non c'è speranza.Molto divertenti sono i suggerimenti dati dalla protagonista del romanzo per abbinare una musica alla ricetta che si sta cucinando. Per noi italiani, visti gli ingredienti, i suggerimenti musicali utilizzabili sono pochi, ma qualcuno si può provare: per il pollo al limone con le olive è indicato Sahra di Khaled , mentre per ossobuco e baccalà alla livornese viene suggerito Gianmaria Testa. Per i vegetariani come me restano la minestra di zucca con colonna sonora di Pinetop Perkins o le pannocchie di mais grigliate al ritmo di Ruben Gonzales .La cucina non è l'unico argomento trattato nella postfazione. Si trovano anche le indicazioni per realizzare a maglia di calzine per neonato. Nel romanzo vengono realizzate dal bambino di quattro anni per le sorelline in arrivo, quindi NON PUO' ESSERE TROPPO DIFFICILE.

  • Bobparr
    2019-06-11 14:29

    Il libro e' di 10 anni fa, e si sente. La scrittura e' meno fluida di Rosa Candida. Non tutti gli incisi in corsivo sembrano azzeccati e questa giovane donna, che sessualmente è allegra e superficiale come uno zigolo, e' finta - o è da conoscere, nel caso. Nonostante ciò, l'Islanda narrata e' bellissima, e la storia con Tumi e' dolce quanto basta per ispirare la continuazione della lettura. Humor diffuso e una insistente pioggia di novembre fanno da sottofondo a tutta la lettura.

  • Margaret
    2019-06-18 15:31

    Would have given it 5 stars if I knew fully what on earth was going on. Easy style and plenty of humour, likeable main character, but why did she need to find herself in the first place? Sadly didn't encourage me to visit Iceland.

  • Carina Ohrem
    2019-05-29 17:45

    Beschreibung: Eine junge, sprach begeisterte Isländerin steht auf einmal alleine da. Zuerst beendet ihr Liebhaber die Affäre und am selben Abend verlangt auch noch ihr Mann die Scheidung, da seine Kollegin Nina-Lind ein Kind von ihm erwartet. Kurze Zeit später sucht sie eine Wahrsagerin auf, die ihr prophezeit, dass sie im Lotto gewinnen und ihren Traummann finden wird. Als sie dann tatsächlich einen ganzen Batzen gewinnt nimmt sie sich vor zu reisen. Die Reise tritt die dann allerdings nicht alleine an. Der gehörlose Sohn ihrer hochschwangeren Freundin begleitet sie. Meine Meinung: An sich finde ich das Cover sehr schön. In der Buchhandlung wüsste ich jetzt allerdings nicht, ob ich es direkt kaufen würde. Sehr schade fand ich es, dass im Klappentext so viele interessante und schöne Dinge angesprochen wurden, die aber im Laufe des Buches nicht mehr aufgegriffen wurden. So wurden viele Dinge unbeantwortet gelassen.Der Einstieg in die Geschichte war nach den ersten 20 Seiten gelungen. Denn an den Schreibstil musste ich mich ein wenig gewöhnen. Aber irgendwie konnte mich das ganze nicht packen. Ich hatte öfter mal das Problem, einfach nicht mehr weiter lesen zu wollen, da es entweder total langatmig wurde, oder ich einfach nicht wusste, was mir die Autorin mit der Szene sagen wollte, da sie für mich einfach keinen Sinn gemacht hat. Was mit gut gefallen hat waren die Beschreibungen der Landschaften. Hier ab ich wirklich den Wunsch gehegt, selbst nach Island zu reisen und mir alles genauestens anzusehen. Auch wie die Protagonisten mit dem kleinen Tumi umgeht ist wirklich schön beschrieben. Hat sie anfangs noch ein großes Problem mit Kindern und weiß nicht, wie sie mit ihnen umgehen soll, ändert sich dieses im Laufe des Buches. Was mich die ganze Zeit über sehr gestört hat war, dass man keinen Namen der Protagonistin erhalten hat. Ich konnte einfach keine Beziehung zu ihr aufbauen. So war sie mir auch am Ende des Buches immer noch sehr Fremd. Interessant fand ich die kursiv geschriebenen Texte. Diese waren der eigentliche Grund, wieso ich immer weiter gelesen habe. Nur hier hat man wirklich etwas über die namenlose Protagonistin erfahren. Fazit:Wer dieses Buch lesen möchte, sollte es definitiv in den etwas dunkleren Monaten tun. Und am besten auch nur, wenn man viel Zeit hat. Denn für mal so schnell zwischendurch ist es definitiv nicht geeignet.

  • Elizabeth Schlatter
    2019-06-19 15:28

    I might be over generous with my stars if only because I so appreciate any book set in Iceland that isn't a horror, occult, or otherwise violent story (why are there so many of those??). This novel takes place during an exceptionally rainy fall and early winter in Iceland, when the light diminishes each day and unprecedented flooding occurs along the narrator's road trip to the eastern portion of the country -- this is my definition of a dreamy setting: wet, cold, and dark. I also liked this book because the un-named narrator is basically clueless -- not stupid, just unable to thoughtfully process what is happening to her and the consequences of her actions. Here's an example of her thoughts, when her newly ex-husband hugs her, having just asked her to get back together with her, despite leaving her to marry the mother of his child: "Stepping out onto the deck, he abruptly swivels on his feet to pull me into a tighter embrace. I can tell it's a quality impermeable anorak that he's wearing, it insulates well." Love that. There's a fair amount of absurdity in the plot, and the timeline of the story gets a bit wonky with odd flashbacks tossed in and a lack of segues between some episodes of various events along the road (a trip the narrator shares with a friend's 4-year-old son who is both deaf and nearly blind, however the main character turns out to be a fantastic guardian for him). And there's an unexpected chapter with recipes at the end -- this is not a food book by any means, but the recipes are appreciated for their suggestion of regional tastes and dry humor. The one on the Irish method of cooking wild goose with trimmings advises, "While the goose is cooking, use the opportunity to take a stroll around the cemetery."

  • Erika
    2019-05-24 19:43

    The description on the inside cover said "a charming story of a free-spirited woman who reaches a life-changing juncture and embarks on a whimsical Icelandic road trip that sets her on a new course." I read that and was sold. When I see the words "whimsical road trip" I pretty much say here take my money. I always want to read that story. This was a quick,quirky and fun read. Iceland is on my bucket list. I would have loved to be in that car driving down Ring Road. I only felt bad because of all the unfortunate incidents with animals. :/ Also, This book made me hungry- I wanted all the food described like Icelandic pancakes, mushroom soup, meat stuffed cabbage rolls, fish balls with boiled potatoes and butter, sesame seed rolls and apple pie from giant red apples with cream. Hungry yet? Luckily there are some recipes at then very end of the book for all of the food mentioned! :)

  • I read novels
    2019-05-24 19:44

    Butterflies In November is translated from the Icelandic by Brian FitzGibbon.It has been a tough day. She has been dumped twice. She accidentally killed a goose. And now she is suddenly responsible for her best friend's deaf-mute son.But when a shared lottery ticket turns the oddly matched pair into the richest people in Iceland, she and the boy find themselves on a road trip across the country. With cucumber hotels, dead sheep, and any number of her exes on their tail.Butterflies In November is a comic and uniquely moving tale of motherhood, friendship and the power of words.Review by www.ireadnovels.wordpress.com

  • Clare
    2019-06-04 19:43

    Whilst the premise was interesting and I quite liked the characters the book failed to follow through with the plot. There is so much left unexplored and unfinished that when I got to the end I was confused. Was that it? Is that all we're getting? What we get is a very scratch of the surface version of a woman's journey to find herself whilst also trying to resolve her past. Nothing really happens much but I still found some of the ideas rather beautiful. I just wish this book were slightly more evolved.