Recensione 084 – The Wonder Spot

giugno 23, 2011 § Lascia un commento

Autore: Melissa Bank
Titolo: The Wonder Spot
(Titolo italiano: L’amore per caso)
Edizione: Penguin, 2006 (ristampa)
(Edizione italiana: Frassinelli, 2005)
Pag.: 336
ISBN: 9780143037217

Ero curiosa di leggere Manuale di caccia e pesca per ragazze ma ho trovato prima questo. The Wonder Spot (L’amore per caso in italiano) è la storia di Sophie Applebaum, una ragazza ebrea non praticante, di famiglia borghese, che viene dalla Pennsylvania. Questa è più una raccolta di racconti che un romanzo vero e proprie, la cronaca di questa ragazza dall’infanzia all’età adulta. La scuola, il lavoro, l’amore, la famiglia.

Devo ammettere che all’inizio ho trovato il romanzo un po’ noioso. Poi però la storia mi ha catturato. La vita di Sophie non è niente di speciale, così come la maggior parte delle vite. Il suo problema principale però sembra essere la sua mancanza di entusiasmo e la sua mancanza di conoscenza di sè. Due esempi:

Walking down Fifth Avenue, I couldn’t work up any excitement about being in New York. It was hard to feel that anything was possible in a dress and sneakers. In a dress and sneakers, I was just me, pretending to be on a date while my boyfriend was having dinner with an ex-girlfriend. In a dress and sneakers, I was just me, killing time before going back to my grandmother’s.

E il passaggio più divertente del libro (per me, almeno):

It reminded me of how I’d felt applying to college. Night after night, I sat with my father in his study while he read aloud from Baron’s. He’d read the name of the college, the number of men and the number of women, and a description in guidebook prose; then he’d say, ‘How does that sound?’ and I’d think, Sounds just like the last one.
It took me a few nights to realize that my father was reading only the colleges that I had some chance of getting into – not Brown but Bowling Green; not Wesleyan but Ohio Wesleyan; not Williams or Smith, but William Smith. Until that moment, it hadn’t occurred to me that my grades and test scores over the years were anything more than individual humiliations; I hadn’t realized that one day all of them would add up and count against me.

Sophie è sempre fuori posto, fondamentalmente perchè non riconosce i modelli di comportamento della vita, e non sa quello che vuole. La maggior parte delle volte sembra che si comporti come lei pensa gli altri vorrebbero (il padre, gli amici, i ragazzi). Un commentatore su Goodreads si è lamentato dell’inutilità di questa esistenza, e sono abbastanza d’accordo, anche se il libro mi è piaciuto, per lo più. In ogni caso sono curiosa di leggere l’altro romanzo della Banks.

Giudizio: 3/5
I was eager to read The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing but I found this one before. The Wonder Spot is the story of Sophie Abblebaum, a non-practising Jewish girl from a suburban family from Pennsylvania. This is quite a short stories collection, the chronicles of this girl from childhood to adulthood. The school, her jobs, her lover, her family.

I must admit at first I found the novel a little bit boring. Then I was seized by the story. Sophie’s life is nothing special, just as most lives are. Her main problem, though, seems to be her lack of eagerness and her lack of self-knowledge. Two examples:

Walking down Fifth Avenue, I couldn’t work up any excitement about being in New York. It was hard to feel that anything was possible in a dress and sneakers. In a dress and sneakers, I was just me, pretending to be on a date while my boyfriend was having dinner with an ex-girlfriend. In a dress and sneakers, I was just me, killing time before going back to my grandmother’s.

 And the most hilarious (to me) passage of the book:

It reminded me of how I’d felt applying to college. Night after night, I sat with my father in his study while he read aloud from Baron’s. He’d read the name of the college, the number of men and the number of women, and a description in guidebook prose; then he’d say, ‘How does that sound?’ and I’d think, Sounds just like the last one.
It took me a few nights to realize that my father was reading only the colleges that I had some chance of getting into – not Brown but Bowling Green; not Wesleyan but Ohio Wesleyan; not Williams or Smith, but William Smith. Until that moment, it hadn’t occurred to me that my grades and test scores over the years were anything more than individual humiliations; I hadn’t realized that one day all of them would add up and count against me.

Sophie is always out of place, basically because she does not recognize life’s patterns, and she does not know what she wants. Most times, it seems she is behaving accordingly to what she thinks other people would like to see (her father, her friends, her boyfriends). A reviewer on Goodreads complained about this life’s pointlessness, and I tend to agree, even if I have liked the book, mostly. Anyway I am eager to read Bank’s other novel.

Rating: 3/5

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