Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Personal Effects by Francesca Duranti

This Italian novel follows Valentina, a recently divorced woman who devoted years to aiding the advancement of her husband’s scholarship on the Church Fathers. Valentina, who is not certain what life now holds for her, spontaneously embarks on a road trip to track down and interview Milos Jarco, an award-winning Eastern European writer.

As Jarco becomes more and more elusive, Valentina’s focus turns to an assortment of odd literary characters who may have information about his background and whereabouts. This brings with it more complications. Valentina begins to think her hotel is bugged and there is a conspiracy against her, but why? As this unusual mystery unfolds, she starts a romantic relationship with a poet who is also somewhat elusive.

This is definitely a unique work. I did not enjoy it as much as Duranti’s Left-Handed Dreams, which was more poetic, but I continue to think she is an amazing writer.


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