Salina: The Three Exiles By Laurent Gaudé & Translated By Alison Anderson

First of all I would like to thank Daniela at Europa for being so kind and sending me a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Salina: The Three Exiles by Laurent Gaudé and Translated by Alison Anderson centres on (official blurb): A timeless story between foundational tale and myth. When Salina dies, it falls to her youngest son to tell her story, a story of violence and suffering, vengeance and passion. Exiled three times, the first time as a new–born abandoned outside a village by a mysterious horseman, Salina was taken in and raised by a clan that only ever saw her as a stranger and an enemy to be defeated. Three times a mother, her children born from strife, Salina never knew love, and revenge became her reason to live. To gain admittance to the cemetery, to a place of peace at last, Salina’s son must face up and tell the tale of Salina’s ordeals – her rape the most harrowing – in minute detail. He has no choice but to give voice to all that for years fed into Salina’s rage. With this short novel set in an ancestral world, Laurent Gaudé explores a narrative space where time flows to rhythmic rituals, where fate blurs to legend, and secrets become myth.”

Salina is such a powerful story of love, inheritance and revenge. For such a short book it really packed a punch. Do not be fooled just because Salina is a short book it most definitely isn’t unforgettable.

Salina was my second foray in French Literature and it definitely will not be my last.

One of my favourite aspects of Salina was its portray of the power of a mother and son relationship and the lengths a son is willing to go to not only protect his mother and her memory but also the steps he is willing to go to give his mother and her story a voice.

I loved the fact that Salina was set in an ancestral world where time flowed to the rhythmic rituals of the world. Where ones fate slowly but surely blurred to legend and were ones secrets including there darkest secrets became myths.

Overall, I would definitely recommend Salina and I can wholeheartedly see why it is a bestseller in France.

(Photo is my own please do not copy or take without permission first)

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