Reading “The Days of Abandonment”

So, in line with my goals and commitments for this year, I finished a book last night:

photo of a book cover for "The Days of Abandonment" by Elena Ferrante

The Days of Abandonment
by Elena Ferrante
Pages: 188

Full disclaimer that I am not a professional reader or book blogger, nor does my opinion matter that much but I wanted to share my reaction and feelings toward reading this book.

To be honest, I never would have stumbled upon this on my own. This was actually a “blind book date” experience. Last summer, I went to Asheville, North Carolina and visited a book store near the hotel, and they had a small section for people wanting to do the blind book dates. What happens is books are wrapped and covered so you can’t see the title or author. You’re only given a list of words commonly associated with the book, and you make a decision on which book(s) you want to read so you don’t judge a book by its cover.

The Days of Abandonment is described in the package to the right in my hand. What drew me to this particular book were the words “elegant,” “honest” and “stunning.” And boy, was the book honest.

Siri Svay holding two wrapped blind book dates

In a nutshell — and don’t worry, this is not spoilers; the book starts off the bat this way — it follows the psyche and thought processes of a woman whose husband leaves her. They say in life, everything happens for a reason, and finishing this book could not have been better timed. I tried starting it and continuously reading it once I got it but had to put it down because the author writes with such ferocity and intensity, that it was a bit overwhelming. She unravels this raw emotion of anger, hurt, pain all at the same time and the pages bleed with it.

Forced to be alone and deal with life and its complications after an intense separation, the main character, Olga, learns more about herself and is on a journey to re-discover her confidence and self-worth amidst negative feelings and the “sense of absence.” I mentioned it’s well timed for me because the story spoke to me. By the end of the book, I, myself, recognized I am in the same place mentally as Olga.

That’s putting it in general. Without giving away too much detail, there are intense sequences that make you feel uneasy, but at the end of the day, they feel real and almost relatable. For me, personally, there were things I WISH I could have done or said like Olga.

Anyway, that’s my quick take on The Days of Abandonment! It was a slow burn but I enjoyed reading it. As I’ve traversed through my journey, reading it became easier and easier to digest. I’m unsure if I would openly and hypefully recommend this one to anyone because I did have to be in the right mindset to read it. However, I would not deter anyone from reading it!

Tell me what’s on your reading lists! My TBR (to-be-read) is already a million miles long but I don’t mind adding to it!


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