I didn’t read the novel The Summer without Men because the reviews were fantastic when it came out last year. I didn’t read it because of the famous author, Siri Hustvedt, the wife of the not less famous (and incredible) Paul Auster. I just read this one because of its title and all the implications that came with it for me: A summer without Men? What could that look like and would it be something I should try out myself? Yes, I should definitely try this one… but I know me too well, always on search for drama, the person I am. Unfortunately…
The heroine Mia of Siri Hustvedt’s book is nothing like me. She’s an elderly woman, mother of an adult daughter, wife to a famous scientist and daughter herself to an active mother, living still in the small village Mia did grow up. And that’s exactly where she escaped to after having had a mental crack up as reaction of her husband’s decision to pause the marriage because of a younger women from his lab (later always be titled as „the pause“). Mia spends a whole summer with her mother and her mother’s extraordinary friends („the swans“), the girls of her poetry class and her neighbor, a young mother dealing with her own relationship problems herself. Slowly, Mia starts to process her current situation, to analyze her past and to develop a new future perspective.
Maybe I read this book for the wrong reasons, but in the end I can totally say that it was the best book I read for a very long time. It’s a master piece with a simple plot that touches aspects of all of our lives and relationships and offers a poetic language mixed with a big portion of humor that is unexpected and fantastic! A totally re-read (And that’s something I do very, very seldom)!
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