Wednesday 30 June 2021

Book Review: The Liquid Land by Raphaela Edelbauer (Literary Fiction)

Title: The Liquid Land
Author: Raphaela Edelbauer
Publisher: Scribe Publications
Publication Date: 12 August 2021 (2019)
Format: eBook - EPUB
Genre: Literary Fiction
Source: ARC via NetGalley 

A town that doesn’t want to be found. A countess who rules over the memories of an entire community. A hole in the earth that threatens to drag them all into its depths.

When her parents die in a car accident, highly talented Austrian physicist Ruth Schwarz is confronted with a problem. Her parents’ will calls for them to be buried in their childhood home — but for strangers, the village of Gross-Einland remains stubbornly hidden from view.

When Ruth finally finds her way there, she makes a disturbing discovery: beneath the town lies a vast cavern that exerts a strange control over the lives of the villagers. There are hidden clues about the hole everywhere, but nobody wants to talk about it — not even when it becomes clear that the stability of the entire town is in jeopardy.

In the literary tradition of Thomas Bernhard and Elfriede Jelinek, Raphaela Edelbauer’s tale of trauma and history weaves an opaque dream fabric that is frighteningly true to life, and in the process she turns us towards the abject horror that lies beneath repressed memory.
The Liquid Land is a dangerous novel, at once glittering nightmare and dark reality, from an extraordinary new voice.


The Liquid Land was a fun and fascinating read. On the surface, it's a tale of a woman at a turning point in her life who must make the journey to her parents' hard-to-find hometown in order to arrange their funerals following a car accident. However, it soon becomes a gripping narrative of a town about to be consumed by the earth, a town with secrets, a town where time itself seems to unravel. It's a book with a plot open to many interpretations, and the final decision on what to believe is left up to the individual reader. This is a quirky tale that is sure to please readers of contemporary fiction looking for something a little different, since it combines family drama with mystery/investigation and a touch of magical realism. It gets a solid 4-star rating from me.

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

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