Margherita Giacobino: L’età ridicola (The Ridiculous Age)

The latest addition to my website is Margherita Giacobino‘s L’età ridicola (The Ridiculous Age). This novel tells the story of an unnamed elderly woman whio is aware that death is not far away. She lives in an upstairs flat in a city with her also very elderly cat. She has an immigrant carer, Gabriela,. She has a close friend Malvina, whom she sees every day but Malvina has more advanced dementia and when she is scammed her nephew puts her in a home where she gets worse. Our narrator ruminates on death and dying, considering euthanasia and suicide. She sees the world outside getting worse (terrorist attacks, violence against women). In particular she misses her lover Nora, who died ten years previously and thinks of her all the time. When Malvina goes she is left with Gabriela and Gabriela’s decidedly unpleasant relatives start to intrude. What could have been a mundane book is enlivened by the strong character of our narrator and Giacobino’s superb writing, leading us to an unexpected ending.

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