Burnt Sugar | Domestic Fiction
▫️Author: Avni Doshi @avnidoshi
▫️My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
▫️Pub Date: August 25, 2019
I really wasn’t very fussed about picking this book up, I’d heard such mixed (mainly poor) reviews on it and therefore I convinced myself it wasn’t going to be my cup of tea. However, the charity shop gods placed this book in my grasp and told me to stop being a silly goose and read this STELLAR novel.
Antara’s mother’s memory is fading. The doctor’s say her brain is healthy but her grasp on sanity is slipping with her daughter subsequently being brought down with her. This isn’t a romanticised or even sensitive depiction of dementia, Antara is battling between the anguish of being forgotten by her own mother with the constant reminder of the pain and trauma her mother put her through. Neither characters are remotely warm or cuddly but you dive into and digest the history of their frankly awful behaviour so that it is not justified but it is understood.
This is potentially the most fascinating exploration of a mother and daughter relationships I have ever read. The love is there at every stage of their life but it is clear how much they’ve clawed and stripped from one another therefore both weighed down by such resentment.
The writing is intoxicating and claustrophobic and clammy and disturbingly beautiful.
Reviewed by Megan Raynor