Friday, May 02, 2014

Paradises by Iosi Havilio

Paradises is a sequel to Havilio's book, Open Door. You may recall that I didn't particularly enjoy that earlier book, though it did keep my attention as I was reading it. The sequel came up on Noisetrade (unfortunately, it seems to be no longer available there), and so I thought I would take the opportunity to read it. Like the first book, it is a "page turner": it kept my attention throughout. But I maintain that the reason why I continued to read the book was for some sort of resolution. I was hoping that something would happen. I suppose I should commend Havilio for keeping my attention, because as I read the book, I became more invested in the protagonist and her son. I hoped for her happiness, and knew that the various steps she was going to take would probably not provide for that need.

This book seemed to feature less instances of fantastical imagery: it takes place in an urban environment for the most part. The protagonist now lives with her son in a sort of squatter's apartment block, an apartment which she is able to occupy in return for daily injections for another woman living in the building. This is one constant throughout the book - she gives injections, and the woman complains.

I think I'm happy that I've read this (these) book(s), but I'm not so sure. Funnily enough, I'm not sure I can think of myself as not reading them. In other words, they have, in a strange way, become a part of my thoughts. And I suppose Havilio needs to be commended for that.