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Summary

Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of Hot Milk by Deborah Levy, read by Romola Garai.

Two strangers arrive in a small Spanish fishing village. The older woman is suffering from mysterious paralysis, driven to seek a cure beyond the bounds of conventional medicine. Her daughter, Sofia, has spent years playing the reluctant detective in this mystery, struggling to understand her mother's illness.

Surrounded by the oppressive desert heat, searching for a cure to a defiant and quite possibly imagined disease, Sofia is forced to confront her difficult relationship with her mother. Examining female rage and sexuality, Deborah Levy explores the strange and monstrous nature of motherhood, testing the bonds of parent and child to a breaking point.

©2016 Deborah Levy (P)2016 Penguin Books Ltd.

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Dreamlike and fascinating

This is an engaging story told in an impressionistic way with elements of magical realism. Cinematic in style, it reminded me a little of Almodovar's films. The narration was superb, a very committed performance and beautiful voice.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Very strange story

Certainly wouldn't recommend this rather nasty story. Romola Garai attempted too many strange accents and it was a very unsatisfactory plot.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Perfect pairing

Romola Garai's voice is so beautiful, I can't wait for her to narrate some more books. The story has been described as hypnotic and her voice is absolutely perfect for it. Loved it.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Well read and written but too long and fluffy

Deborah Levy is a wonderful writer and is able to explore characters in a detailed way.

Unfortunately the storyline is a little too convoluted, rather emotional with little substance about an adult daughter's relationship with both her parents. It could be cut down to half the length and even then it may be too long. This may appeal to drama lovers but be warned - the story can be summed up in a sentence.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

fascinating

Great book. Witty and insightful. Spoilt by terribke monotone reader wish I'd read it myself

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Lyrical

I really enjoyed the language of this book and the metaphors. It was a really relaxing listen too. Great job by the narrator. Only scored low because I think the actual story could have been stronger.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Challengingly complex characters.

Very well written, with prose that often merges into poetry. The author uses circular layers to make this a beautiful and evocative work. However, as usually with complex characters, the emotional connection with them was not there in the main. Although it is a story of self discovery and vanquishing personal demons, I found myself rooting for no one until the very end.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic story, leaden performance

When I read this book I absolutely loved it. I later got the Audible version as an alternative to re-reading it. Everything that I liked in the printed book is still discoverable. However, the reading has reduced the pleasure I can take in it. I've seen other reviews here that praise Romola Garai's beautiful voice. Perhaps she does have a beautiful voice but it's a ponderous reading that leaches all notes of humour from the text leaving it more starkly dark than the book. The reading of the main protagonist is, I guess, "defensible": the kind of interpretation that might be interesting if you've already heard several others. It's a reading that I find casts the main character as more deliberate and less attractive than the character as written. The reading of the mother, Rose, is good. The reading of all of the other characters is so heavily mannered and weirdly inflected that it changes and destroys every one of them. For a book set primarily in Spain, it's odd not to find any trace of a Spanish accent. But listen to the sample and judge for yourself. It's a terrific book that survives the quirky performance.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Powerful punchline but miserable- at time superficial

Powerful punchline but overall miserable- at times superficial
The relationship with water was well done
The relationship with mother / Father/ illness were strong
The love interests unconvincing - added little
The doctor/quack could have been built on

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Not for me!

I struggled with the narration and the actual story with this book. Not a winner unfortunately