The mother made me want to scream. Out loud. “She will wake up and shout, ‘Get me water, Sofia,’ and I will get her water and it will always be the wrong sort of water.” Brilliantly effective and funny, this is a sharp and speedy summer read.
Sofia has brought her mother Rose to an exclusive private clinic on the Spanish coast. This clinic may nor may not be run by a quack. They can’t afford the fees and Rose’s symptoms change all the time. Sofia is a former anthropology PhD student who has been working as a barista in London, and her idiosyncratic observations on her situation give the book its bite. It’s not clear what, if anything, is physically wrong with Rose, but her power over her daughter is unmistakable.
Under the hot sun, on the rocky shore and in the jellyfish infested sea, things start to change. This is a strangely memorable novel, which left me thinking about memory, identity, and control. It also has a notable dog in it.
Review by Bethan