84 Following

"So it goes."

Ella Mc's book blog. Brand new 2018 - Only books read after 1st January 2018

Currently reading

The Witches of Eastwick
John Updike
Progress: 100/307 pages

Sympathy - Olivia Sudjic

Sympathy - Olivia Sudjic

This has been impossible to review. I'm not sure even how I feel about it. But because I keep rereading books I've not written something about, I'm going to try.


We have possibly the most unreliable narrator ever in Alice Hare. She is surrounded by other unreliable characters, like her grandmother and mother. Too many secrets and mysteries have been festering in this family for far too long. As such, nobody is connected - everyone adrift, and the story feels as unmoored as the characters. While reading I felt disconnected too, but then I wondered if perhaps that wasn't the point? Maybe I'm giving the author too much credit.


This is not a straight-forward story of anything. It's multilayered and involves internet addiction, obsession, many differing ideas of Truth, and most of all aloneness. Underneath it all lies a sort of philosophy of quantum mathematics that unsettles the whole universe even more. Sympathy explores about how lost we can get in the facade we create, whether they be online personas, those we don to lure lovers, ones we wear to say everything here is great or any other mask we wear to get through our lives. It's about the decisions that go into creating those personas and how that creation can take us even further from our true selves. That can be, and is for our main character, a dizzying rabbit hole. Alice Hare may be an extreme example (she is named that for a reason,) but there's a little bit of this Alice in all of us.


It's very interesting. It wasn't always the easiest read, but it held my interest throughout. The writing was strong, and I liked the constantly shaking floor beneath my feet as I read. It's a debut novel that gives me great hopes for this author in the coming years.