Sunday 19 February 2023

Book Review: Accabadora by Michela Murgia, translated by Silvester Mazzarella

Accabadora Accabadora by Michela Murgia
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

I was first attracted to this book by its title, a word I did not know.

Bonari Urrai is a childless widow in 1950s Sardinia who adopts Maria Listru when her mother can no longer afford to raise her. Bonari is a seamstress who not only physically but metaphorically 'good at getting the measure' of people. She gives Maria a good home, an education but she has a secret. That secret lies in the meaning of the title word which I am not going to spoil here.

The book flows well in English, the style reminded me of the great Latin American writers and has won Italian Literature prizes. Her translator is Silvester Mazzarella who also translates Swedish works by Tove Jansson. It is a shame not more of Murgia's work has been translated

This book impressed me. A short book 204 pages in English, that I could not put down. Her characters of Bonari and Maria are well done, there is a good level of texture in the story, a sense of time and of the small rural community in which most of the storyline takes place. A recommended afternoon read.

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