Seven Empty Houses by Samanta Schweblin

 

Seven Empty Houses by Samanta Schweblin

Argentinan  fiction

Orignal tile – Siete casas vacías

Translator – Megan McDowell

Source – Library book

This is the third book I have reviewed from Samantha schweblin. It is the first I have really connected with as a reader before I got them and why people loved them but it hadn’t been a total bowl over for me. The other books my fellow readers on the shadow just seemed to have connected with more than myself. She has been on the Man booker list with her three previous books, so it I thought it was a good idea to read her latest just in case it made the longlist. This is a collection of short stories. As with her other books, it has a dark side to her stories. Samanta Schweblin lives in Berlin and has written five books. One of them is currently being filmed by Netflix. So let us enter the Erie unsettled stories she has given us.

My mother, who was in the process of getting out of the car, freezes a moment and then drops back into her seat. I’m worried because night is falling, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to get the car out in the dark. The forest is only two houses away. I walk into the trees, and it takes a few minutes to find exactly what I need.

When I get back, my mother is not in the car. There’s no one outside. I approach the front door of the house.

The boy’s truck is lying on the doormat. I ring the doorbell and the woman comes to open the door.

“I called the ambulance? she says. “I didn’t know where you were, and your mother said she was going to faint again.”

The opening story of the mother and daughter None of that.

A mother and daughter head out in a car. Where they end up in the middle of nowhere and end up on a posh estate and the. other goes into a house. The mother starts to wander around the house as though drawn by some spirit and things just go strange as the oddness of the actions. Then the longest story in the book breaths from the depth. The story has a classic hook to it in the newcomer in the area when a single mother who moves next to her and her longstanding husband. They lost their sons many years ago. But Lola gets weary when her husband is drawn to the young boy next year all this is back as Lola’s health is waning. But who is this neighbour why does she feel familiar at times she is fat but there is something there. elsewhere people are caught between homes. A teen strips and redress in some underwear. I loved this collection.

The list was part of a plan: Lola suspected that her I life had been too long, so simple and light that now it lacked the weight needed to disappear. After studying the experiences of some acquaintances, she had concluded that even in old age, death needed a final push.

An emotional nudge, or a physical one. And she couldn’t give that to her body. She wanted to die, but every morning, inevitably, she woke up again. What she could do, on the other hand, was arrange everything in that direction, attenuate her own life, reduce its space until she eliminated it completely. That’s what the list was about; that, and remaining focused on what was important.

The opening of the longest story in the book breath from the depths

I loved the stories especially the short ones like when the mother and daughter head into the village in the middle of nowhere. Then into the backyard of the house and into the house itself. When she is drawn to a sugar bowl the story has such an undercurrent to it the sense of something more to it. Like Lola, I was reminded at times of the Pinero novel that made this year’s Booker list. As it had a similar feel to the character of a person in pain and with. A lot in their life. This collection uses the usual hooks in Horror fiction, strange places, haunted feeling houses, and people on the edge. But I think what She does so well is making the normal everyday humdrum characters. Seem just enough off-kilter and odd to be believed and not over the top. I love the cover art for this book. We have to ask ourselves will this make the longlist again , I think it may do the only reason it may not is if they want to give other writers a chance to make the longlist. Have you read any of her books?

Winstons score – +A Finally loved one of her books.

 

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lisa Hill
    Dec 04, 2022 @ 23:03:10

    Such persistence! Well done, Stu!

    Reply

  2. 1streading
    Dec 10, 2022 @ 15:15:12

    I’m glad continuing to read Schweblin has paid off for you! I’ve loved her since Fever Dream and I’m looking forward to reading this when I get hold of a copy.

    Reply

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