30 Days of Books Challenge: Day 12 – A book so emotionally draining you couldn’t complete it or had to set aside for a bit

Reading: Hunger’s Brides, Paul Anderson
Stars: Five

Drinking: Green Tea, Bigelow

I haven’t finished Hunger’s Brides yet, though I’ve been reading it for a long time.  It is such a well-written, beautiful, lyrical book that I am unable to read more than a few pages at a time without being filled with an intense longing – for what, I do not know.  The books length makes it even more difficult to finish.

The novel lays out the life of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, a Mexican poet-nun.  Born in the mountains of Northern Mexico, she has a childhood full of both Spanish and native Mexican culture. As a young woman, she entered the court in Mexico City and became a great favorite.

The story of Sor Juana is framed by that of Donald Gregory, a former professor whose student and lover became obsessed with the poet. His story is simply not interesting – nor does it seem to be particularly relevant in this long story.  Since I’ve barely scratched the surface, however, I’m sure the two plots become more intertwined as it goes on.

Hunger’s Brides is a rich chocolate – it can be gobbled, but you are left feeling unsettled and slightly queasy.  It is best enjoyed in small, concentrated doses so that one can revel in Anderson’s rich prose.  Reading too much of it has much the same effect eating too much chocolate does.  It is a wonderful novel, but it is hard to read.  I hope to complete it and give a full review in the future.

30 Days of Books Challenge

Day 07 – A book that’s hard to read


Author: Lisa Fry

Freelance Writer & Editor. Book lover. Feminist. International development professional

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