A Girl Returned by Donatella Di Pietrantonio


Ann Goldstein (Translator)
This is not a book for the faint of heart or people on the lookout for something breezy to read. It is a very short book but packs so much emotion into the pages that it is hard to look away.
We meet the girl who was ‘returned’ in the very beginning, she is conflicted about her new surroundings and life. She does not understand the reason for any of the current circumstances. Despite all her best efforts, she finds herself fighting nightmares and all other levels of questions. It is a matter of survival and in this story, it is the improbably close bond of two sisters who might have never known each other if the situation was different.
I can talk about the book, the siblings, a few reactions to uncomfortable situations and other related things but since the book is not that big, and that the translation seems flawless in terms of the flow of the story I would be ruining a part of the tale but giving too much away. Although I guessed the underlying cause of the entire upheaval, it did not take much away from the experience.
This book has been translated from Italian and gives an insight into a way of life I cannot even begin to imagine. There are references to her current status since the tale is told as a flashback but the narrator has no name other than the moniker her family situation gives her. If I was more into artistic books which bring with them a layer of subtle discomfort throughout the narration forcing us to confront things, I would have rated this higher but I did enjoy the whole thing and am glad I gave it a shot.
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers but the review is completely based on my own reading experience.
Affiliate link to purchase: Book Depository

4 thoughts on “A Girl Returned by Donatella Di Pietrantonio”

  1. I take nothing away from Europa Editions but this is definitely not Di Pietrantonio’s debut in English. I translated her first two novels, My Mother is a River and Mamma Mia, and they were published by Calisi Press in the UK in 2015 and 2016 respectively. Calisi Press is no longer in business but both titles are still available. See https://www.facebook.com/CalisiPress/

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, Anjana. I think Donatella is a great writer and yes, her writing can be hard hitting, but I think it has incredible depth. I must say my favourite book of hers is still My Mother is a River 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s