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The Other Girl Paperback – April 25, 2011
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
"A fascinating exploration of a man and a woman whose rich and complex lives intersect briefly... Not a traditional story in terms of plot, Ares captivates the reader by creating two people who are realistically flawed and vulnerable in a way that not only provokes sympathy but connects with the reader on a fundamental level. Though the ending lacks a sense of real closure, the ambiguity with which it is drawn remains true to the tone and themes of the novella: Life is messy and uncertain. To wrap the story up neatly would be to compromise the message."
US REVIEW OF BOOKS
A BOOKISH AFFAIR
From the Inside Flap
"My eyes are closed. The burning noon sun is creeping under my eyelids flashing red, an insidious wound stinging intermittently, reminding me that I hurt; therefore I am."
Written primarily in dialogue, The Other Girl is a fascinating exploration of a man and a woman whose rich and complex lives intersect briefly but are changed immeasurably. There is something both natural and elevated about the conversations between Max and Gio that draw the reader in and keep them invested in the extended discussion. Giordana's narrative about the doomed relationship that she compromised her identity to salvage is told with unflinching honesty that meanders into the philosophical. While this is not a traditional story in terms of plot, Ares captivates the reader by creating two people who are realistically flawed and vulnerable in a way that not only provokes sympathy but connects with the reader on a fundamental level. Though the ending lacks a sense of real closure, the ambiguity with which it is drawn remains true to the tone and themes of the novella: Life is messy annd uncertain. To wrap the story up neatly would be to compromise the message.
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Top customer reviews
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Characters are described, in a short but in a very organized/effective way so that you immediately get into the 'situation' but not into a boring 'love story'. Human instincts, contradictions, changes at the character&behaviour due to aging and moral degeneration are all the subjects of this 125 page novel. You can't and you don't need the urge to 'expect' the next page which is also good. You just keep reading on and explore the so called ordinary, personal, banal-not the gilded-side of life.
When one gets the book and finishes in a couple of hours, after that, feels a kind of "completion" that everthing perfectly matches to our everyday's life but at the same time the feelings, manners, ideas and their very cliché reflections to our life is so routine that you would like to find a way out of this mess.
Rather than becoming a stereotype and loosing oneself in a big city, jumping in/out temporary relationships and coming after soap bubble ideas; the book intuitively (at the end openly) suggests a very modest solution to 21st centuries human beeings 'viscious circle'. In a way, Ares' "The Other Girl" may be 'a path to personal freedom and individualization'
Illuminates the experiences of current European immigrants to New York. The characters discuss their relationships with the opposite sex in a gritty, realistic way. This is a rather dark story in some ways, but very well done.
"If we don't die young enough to be the Hero, we may live to see ourselves become the Villain."
She also had some wonderful descriptive sections. Here is just one:
"He was like a lean instrument that could only play in the middle range, unable to look you in the eyes and scale any peeks of spirituality or dive into any emotional depth."
Alexandra can write and write well. I love that she uses short paragraphs and short chapters. And she opened with a Nabokov quote: "Mists of tenderness, enfolded mountains of longing." She is a writer after my own heart.
I would certainly enjoy more of this type of work; I wanted more, in fact. The book is short, but packs enough punch to get away with being 'a little thin' as some publishers might say. Anyway, it is priced accordingly.
I have only read two of her works, but I think she has many more voices in her bag of literary tricks. It will be interesting to see what she will be offering her readers in the future.
Watch this space.
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