Originally published in Spanish in 2015 as La débil mental, it is the second part of what the Argentinian author Ariana Harwicz has termed an “involuntary trilogy” exploring extreme mother-child relationships. Her previous book, Die, My Love (translated by Carolina Orloff and Sarah Moses), was narrated by a young mother driven to the edge of madness by desire, loneliness and frustration. Its stream-of-consciousness style and the visceral intensity of its prose – uncomfortable, but completely engrossing – earned it a place on the Man Booker International prize longlist last year... Harwicz excels at tackling taboos around female desire, filial loyalty, a lack of maternal instinct and even incest. Moreover, her prose, thanks in part to the razor-sharp translation, is completely addictive. Here’s looking forward to part three.
The Book of Science and Antiquities
"It would be a crime to give away anything more, but the end of this beautiful novel made me cry. Jones writes with intelligence and a lively wit, but there’s more — a warmth that forces you to care about these people as if you had met them...."
— The Times
3 out of 5