Title: Hot Milk
Author: Deborah Levy
Rating: 3/5 stars
Page Count: 218 pages
Genre: Fiction, Literary Fiction, Contemporary
Hot Milk is the story of a girl Sophia who has an almost invalid mother who has taken over life. So they travel to Almeria in Spain where the Gomez Clinic resides to cure her mother of her paralysis in her legs. It follows Sophia’s anthropological journey through her time in Spain assessing her life.
If you are looking for a spoiler-free review her is one I did on my YouTube channel:
On page 51 it is a dialogue between Rosa who is Sophia’s mother and the head of the Gomez Clinic Dr Gomez at lunch discussing her ex-husband. I really liked this quote as was full of witty comedy on how her ex-husband left her for a younger woman.
Style of Writing:
The interesting point is at most of the start of the chapters there was a snippet of writing that it was an interesting addition but ultimately I did not see the point. Her style was simple and quite descriptive which I enjoyed as it made the book more of a critique of her life than the story of her mother’s legs. I really liked the detached narration of Sophia.
The theme of family is the main element of this book and assessing how important it is to people. The family dynamic within Sophia’s family showed the effects of modern-day life and was very relatable. The element of lesbian love interest was a clear representation of how complicated it can be if it is a new experience for people. It read as a respectful representation.
My favourite character would have to be Mr Gomez he is such fun and intriguing with great wit. I felt so sorry for him at the end. I liked Sophia she was relatable to me especially because of her young age. However, I did find her irritating in the middle as she was not fully developed. I didn’t like Ingrid for me she had too many agendas as a character and was such a confusing person. In terms of Rosa the mother by the end I think she just needed a wake up call and was such a burden even to the story that you kinda hated her.
This book was an interesting read in terms of it being basically an anthropological study of her life and cultural memory. However, the story as such was anticlimactic in terms of it didn’t develop anywhere as in Sophia’s mother’s illness or Sophia’s life. The ending was disappointing as the second last paragraph had some meaning but then it ended with a sentence on a jellyfish which I believe was not needed. Overall, though intriguing I did not enjoy it due to its lack of direction. I believe this book is more catered towards those who enjoy a complex literary read.
If you have read this book let me know what you think down below in the comments!