A bottle of harrowing fascination: The Bottled Goods by Sophie Van Llewyn

0fe5fe21-e179-4b44-844f-3a901ed7ab89How I loved this book! You know I hate sad books, but I think I will change the definition of this statement: I hate the books that’s written purposefully to make you sad.

Bottled Goods has some harrowing, heart breaking things in it but you don’t even flinch when you read it. It’s written in a beautifully entertaining way that amazed me! This is such a talent. I will be on the look out for van Lleywn’s books.

Set in the communist Romania during Ceausescu’s rule, Bottled Goods tells us the story of Alina. Starts off with a drop of magical realism and written with short chapters (I have learned after reading the book that the author published these chapters as flash fiction) this novel with its harrowing plot fascinatingly makes a wonderful novel that easily be read in one sitting!


When Alina’s brother in law defects to a Western country, she and her husband will attract Secret Service attention. It will be no good, of course. But Van Llewyn tells this story like a Shadow theatre, builds the atmosphere of communist Romania, so effortlessly and with very few sentences! I just adored the way this book is written. If there’s an award for telling a story the shortest and punchiest way possible, this is your winner.

A must read! Small but strong as a shot of good, freshly brewed espresso. 4.5 stars

Another one down from @womensprize long list! Will be back with more 🤘🏼


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