‘Strike Your Heart’ by Amélie Nothomb

Amélie Nothomb’s uncomplicated style is the perfect vehicle for a story that simultaneously draws the reader in and pushes them away.

Although Nothomb’s writing is terse and economical, the narrative is profound and Diane’s life is deceptively gripping. The reader is told more than they are shown, but this works perfectly and creates a story that is intricate and hard-hitting.

Strike Your Heart offers a narrative that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page. It is frustratingly short, but the action is so concentrated that it feels well suited to the novella format. Indeed, the constraints of form impose a further stifling effect on Diane.

This is a book I would highly recommend (and appreciate even more after reading The Solitude of Prime Numbers).

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