Wednesday 12 June 2024

Book Review: From Savagery by Alejandra Banca (Contemporary Fiction)

From Savagery
Alejandra Banca
Restless Books
27 August 2024
eBook - PDF
Contemporary Fiction
ARC via Edelweiss

Below the rooftops of Barcelona's historic avenues, in the shadow of the Sagrada Família and its fleet of construction cranes, thrums a vital pulse: meal-delivery bikers, sex workers, strung out artists, anti-capitalist squatters, undocumented shopgirls, fledgling drug dealers, and a thousand more lives that cross and knit together at the lowest level of Spain's urban tumult. The young expats of these stories careen through crowded streets, night clubs, and dating apps with a devil-may-care abandon that belies their precarious circumstances. Tragedy will erupt and then ebb in an instant, receding in the rearview like a roadside collision and haunting those who push on. Running on fumes and paltry tips, Banca's beleaguered characters race along a knife's edge and find unexpected solace in moments of shared vulnerability; a knowing thread that unites these strangers in a strange land. 

From Savagery was a captivating read, deceptively simple but with a lot of depth in the way it showed snapshots of the lives of Venezuelan immigrants living in Barcelona. There was a lot of brutality flowing through the stories, which might make this book difficult reading for some, but I enjoyed the way the starkness contrasted with the often dream-like feeling of the prose. It was certainly a thoughtful and thought-provoking work, and I am giving it 4.5 stars.

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

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