Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Review: Elsewhere by Alexis Schaitkin

by Alexis Schaitkin

Publisher: Celadon Books
Pages: 240
Format: ARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Vera grows up in a small town, removed and isolated, pressed up against the mountains, cloud-covered and damp year-round. This town, fiercely protective, brutal and unforgiving in its adherence to tradition, faces a singular affliction: some mothers vanish, disappearing into the clouds. It is the exquisite pain and intrinsic beauty of their lives; it sets them apart from people elsewhere and gives them meaning.

Vera, a young girl when her own mother went, is on the cusp of adulthood herself. As her peers begin to marry and become mothers, they speculate about who might be the first to go, each wondering about her own fate. Reveling in their gossip, they witness each other in motherhood, waiting for signs: this one devotes herself to her child too much, this one not enough—that must surely draw the affliction’s gaze. When motherhood comes for Vera, she is faced with the question: will she be able to stay and mother her beloved child, or will she disappear?

Kritters Thoughts:  A place where girls know that their mothers may not be here tomorrow and women know that there is no guarantee for tomorrow.  Once a woman becomes a mother there is a chance that they may just disappear.  

The story centers around Vera who at the beginning of the book is a young girl and eventually she will fall in love and become a mother, but the best thing about this book is it doesn't end when she disappears, the reader gets to see what happens after she disappears and for me that was the moral of the story.  

While I am not a mother, I may not have picked up on all the things, but for me the big theme of women disappearing as motherhood becomes their identity was really something to read.  And then for these women to wind up in a different atmosphere and try to find themselves again really made me think about the roles women take throughout the years of their lives and how some of those phases a woman can really lose her identity.  

With maybe hints of dystopia I liked this book.  I had access through netgalley to the ebook and audiobook and I enjoyed having both forms to read and I would completely suggest either form as they were both enjoyable.  

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Celadon Books.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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