Still Born

Guadalupe Nettel

translated from the Spanish by Rosalind Harvey
Fitzcarraldo 2022
A book review by Danny Yee © 2023
Still Born is an engaging and uplifting short novel about the lives of two thirty-something friends and about different perspectives on motherhood and its assumptions.

Laura is decided enough to have had herself sterilised. Her first person narrative describes her changing interactions with and feelings about the young boy next door and his single mother, about her own mother, and about the pigeons nesting above her balcony. In contrast, her friend Alina has gone through IVF to become pregnant, only to be told by the geneticists that her child will be stillborn. Hers is a story of often fraught interactions with the medical system, with her therapist, with a nanny, and with her husband.

Nettel explores some big topics in this, but she does so with a light touch, in a straightforward and accessible story, and maintains a surprising calmness throughout, eschewing drama. And her compassion makes Still Born upbeat and hopeful.

January 2023

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%T Still Born
%A Nettel, Guadalupe
%M Spanish
%F Harvey, Rosalind
%I Fitzcarraldo
%D 2022
%O paperback
%G ISBN-13 9781913097660
%P 219pp