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.
Oxygen by Sacha Naspini and translated by Clarissa Botsford centres on (official blurb): “What happens when the person who raised you turns out to be a monster? Paul Auster meets Stephen King in this poetic yet disturbing investigation into the darkest corners of human nature. On August 12, 1999 an eight-year-old girl, Laura, goes missing. Fourteen years later, long after all hope had been lost, she is found alive in a container truck. Luca is having dinner with his father, a well-respected anthropologist, when the police raids their home and arrests the man. The charges against professor Carlo Maria Balestri are extremely serious–could the face of Evil itself hide behind the mask of a renowned academic? The nightmare doesn’t end with the arrest of the abductor. In fact, his capture marks the start of wholly new, fragile lives for the people affected by his crimes. It’s now Luca’s turn to be held captive by his perverse father– in a prison made not of metal but of blood, one from which it seems impossible to escape. He becomes obsessed with Laura, who seems to resume a normal life but carries inside her the weight of an unspeakable trauma. Emotionally derailed, Luca tries to connect with her, even follows her around Milan. The two became entangled in a spiral of guilt, fear, and manipulation that, at every turn, reveals the implacable pervasiveness of evil. With prose whose power and sharpness bring to mind Truman Capote’s writing, Sacha Naspini paints a harrowing, unforgettable portrait of our society and its darkest shadows.”
Oxygen is such a powerful and thought-provoking story that really does make you think and also dread what’s events are going to occur on the next page. Throughout this book I felt a wave of emotions especially for two of the main characters in particular Luca and Laura. Events occurred in both of their lives that neither of them could ever have predicted let alone change. One of the biggest things you need to know going into this book is the fact it is one of the most quietly disturbing stories you probably will ever read.
Sacha Naspini’s writing is everything! It gets right to you and you can’t help but absorb every little detail and word that Sacha writes. The writing absolutely compels you to continue reading. Just when you think you can put the book down and take a break Sacha’s metaphorical writing hand grabs you by the neck once more and pulls you head first back into the world of Oxygen!
Oxygen has this ability to not only make the reader feel the fragility of life itself but also makes the reader realise that time can in fact pass in a flash of a second and that they and the characters will never be able to fully grasp it no matter how hard they try.
(Photo is my own please do not copy/take without permission first).