This is a blog about my reads as well as everything related to them.
My taste is for good quality literature - old and new. Some of it I review here or on my main book blog Edith's Miscellany.
The Italian writer Michela Murgia set Accabadora in the small Sardinian village Soreni in the early 1950s. Six-year-old Maria Listru is the unwanted fourth daughter of a widow who has a hard time feeding her family. Bonaria Urrai, an unmarried woman in her late fifties, takes her as a 'fill'e anima' (a 'soul child' translated literally into English) which is an informal kind of adoption common in Sardinia for centuries. Tzia Bonaria is an 'accabadora' (a 'finisher' in English), ie a woman who kills the agonizing out of mercy, but Maria doesn't know until much later.
The story of Maria Listru and the Accabadora Bonaria Urrai is a quiet one which focuses on the growing-up girl. There isn't really much going on in the rural environment which Michela Murgia describes with so much skill. The characters of the novel are quite ordinary ones, too, but they are carved out expertly in the author's elegant language. Besides, the entire plot is embedded in the social system and the centuries-old traditions of their country which have been quietly slipping into oblivion after World War II.
Accabadora may not have been the kind of novel which I had expected when I bought the book, but it was a very enjoyable read after all. In fact, I highly recommend it.