Why did I love this book?
There are similarities between this novel and mine – the woman at its heart is an American named Lilia, she’s had adventures, and she is taking stock. But then the fascinating differences begin. She is 81, not 57; she’s had marriages and children; above all, the narrative about Lilia is only one layer of the story, as within the book is another book, the diary of a man she had an affair with when very young, and she annotates his revelations with her own. This resonant novel’s strata – like limestone folds, the sediment of a life brought back to the surface – give Lilia, initially hard and sharp, more and more texture as the story unfolds.