Hot Milk by Deborah Levy: An anthropological understanding of relationships

Hot Milk Cover

When I started to read Hot Milk, I was totally clueless and to be honest not anticipated much from this comparatively small novel. But, after a few pages I realized that this has some story to tell and the writer has a tight grab on it. Characterization, location and the pace in which the story unveils makes it an interesting book to read on.

Sofia Papastergiadis, the protagonist is an anthropology student who dreams about her PhD, but lacks financial and social support. This I felt the tricky part of the novel. Sofia studies anthropology and obviously she is interested in watching people do things. Her mother in first stance is a very interesting case study for her. Along with her mother, other characters including her father who lives with his new family throws insightful thoughts about socio-economic evolution between family members. When Sofia tries to seek financial help from her father he cleverly ignores it in the name of his new family. This part is very interesting because it opens up a little more about the character of Sofia.

She manages to develop friendship in Spain, good for her. Still she is not away from her anthropology student kinda thing that unknowingly keeps her away from enjoying the juice of relationships. Is Sofia too an introvert to not to understand or absorb the joyful side of her life? A reader can find multiple reasons to describe Sofia as a loner of a depressed young lady because of the life offered to her. Her life has been intruded by people who give priority to their personal life. They like Sofia, but keep a distance with her internal things, especially her feelings.


Deborah Levy

In another way, Sofia is very much concerned about the ignorance by people around her. She wants to be loved, she dreams thrilling sexual experience, she dreams about completing her studies etc. etc.

Deborah Levy brilliantly handles this complicated part of Hot Milk. She definitely takes the reader with Sofia and her stressful life or lifelessness. Deborah achieves to make Hot Milk a page-turner by putting things in order and arranging characters accordingly. 


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