Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, trans. by Michele Hutchison
PositiveThe Irish Times (IRE)...while the novel succeeds as an unsettling exploration of a family dealing with a sudden death, as the novel progresses it tends to lose its narrative thread and becomes unintentionally episodic. Some could argue that Rijneveld’s decision to tell the story as if we are in the mind of a disturbed young girl pardons this lack of cohesiveness, but often the novel reads like Rijneveld is more interested in creating more and more disturbing fantasies instead of actually focusing on what makes this novel interesting. But overall, this isn’t enough of a complaint to deem the novel unsuccessful ... Recently there has been a trend for novels and stories that focus on, to put it plainly, grotesque characters written about grotesquely ... Despite some issues, The Discomfort of Evening is a strong debut. Rijneveld’s poetic prose, eloquently translated by Michele Hutchison, clashes and rattles against the horrors it describes, a constant fight between terror and beauty. It is a novel that does its best to make sure you won’t forget it anytime soon. Something I know my mother will absolutely never read.