The Book of X by Sarah Rose Etter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Cassie is born with a knot, just like her mother and grandmother. She enters a world of bullying, inadequate medical care, isolation and boredom. Outside of school her life seems intended for repetition of pain and cleaning the walls with lemons, while her father and brother work in the meat quarry, but her life is vivid with visions that provide some form of escape, although it isn't always positive. (It's fascinating to read interviews with the author because she was incredibly isolated in Iceland while writing most of this. The landscape feels unworldly in that way that only Iceland can.)
The cover is striking. When I saw it online I thought it was sunset in a valley, then I realized it's hair and a woman in the center, but now that I've read it I realize it is both and also probably the meat quarry.
The feeling of the novel kept making me think of Kassandra and the Wolf by Margarita Karapanou, mixed with The Yellow Wallpaper.
I received a copy of The Book of X from the publisher. It comes out July 16.
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