Wednesday 24 July 2019

Book Review: Dark Mother Earth by Kristian Novak (Literary Fiction)

Title: Dark Mother Earth
Author: Kristian Novak
Publisher: Amazon Crossing
Publication Date: 14 January 2020
eBook - PDF
Literary Fiction
ARC via NetGalley


An amnesiac writer's life of lies and false memories reaches a breaking point in this stunning English-language debut from an award-winning Croatian author.

As a novelist, Matija makes things up for a living. Not yet thirty, he's written two well-received books. It's his third that is as big a failure as his private life. Unable to confine his fabrications to fiction, he's been abandoned by his girlfriend over his lies. But all Matija has is invention. Especially when it comes to his childhood and the death of his father. Whatever happened to Matija as a young boy, he can't remember. He feels frightened, angry, and responsible...

Now, after years of burying and reinventing his past, Matija must confront it. Longing for connection, he might even win back the love of his life. But discovering the profound fears he has suppressed has its risks. Finally seeing the real world he emerged from could upend it all over again.

It took me a little while to get into Dark Mother Earth, unsure at first where the story was going. The turning point for me was when Matija began to delve into his past. From that moment, the book gripped me and I was keen to turn each page and find out what would happen next. Overall, this book presented an interesting study of how events in childhood can shape adult life, and the long-term effects of trauma on the psyche. The prose had a nice blend of punch and lyricism, and Matija's narrative was compelling. I would definitely read more from Novak in the future if some of his other works are translated.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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