Spinster. Making a Life of One’s Own by Kate Bolick

This semester I joined a feminist book club that takes place in my favourite city and is led by a fellow feminist PhD candidate at my same programme. The club is organised nation-wide, with different physical meetings all over Spain by the feminist organisation La Tribu (‘The Tribe’). Our first reading was Spinster. Making a Life of One’s Own by Kate Bolick, a non-fiction book, partly memoir, about what it means to be single nowadays.

The book has been translated into Spanish but I decided to go with the original for two reasons. One is that I read faster in English and I also enjoy the text more, the second one is that books in Spain are quite expensive because as cultural products they have a 21% tax on them with Spinster‘s price rocketing to 24€. So, after a quick search at Abebooks I found an in-good-condition edition for less than 2€. Here’s my now battered copy:


I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Spinster, as I found myself thinking about the book all day long and wishing it was bedtime to return to it. I usually read novels, but this year I have felt drawn to non-fiction. The boyfriend got me Gloria Steinem’s memoir My Life on the Road for Christmas and it had been a long time since I had been so inspired by a book. Non-fiction is teaching me that life is gray, messy and wonderful. Kate Bolick’s book has taught me that our emotional and personal lives do not have to be coherent.

Spinster is divided into chapters according to the different ‘awakeners’ that Bolick has chosen as her role models. The term ‘awakeners’ is a feminist one related to Kate Chopin’s feminist novel The Awakening in which a young wife and mother wakes up one day to a life that does not make her happy and decides to change that. One thing to highlight is that Bolick’s experience is highly situated as a white, middle-class American woman, meaning that she, like we all are, is a product of her surroundings. Hence, the women that she choses as role models are culturally and geographically similar to her: They were either born in New England, or they moved to New York city. All of them were women of letters and arts, and most of them will be familiar to the Western feminist reader. And if not, Bolick’s admiration for them is so contagious that you will find yourself researching these awakeners. I did not know a thing about Irish author and journalist Maeve Brennan, but I am now fascinated by her life and I hope to explore some her works later this year. The rest of the awakeners, you will have to discover for yourself as their identities and their historical relevance are key to the development of Bolick’s train of thought.


Irish author Maeve Brennan (1917 – 1993)

When a non-fiction book deals with such a sensitive topic as women’s personal lives, it is almost impossible not to be passionate about what you think. As a feminist I have never found myself against anything as long as it is a woman’s choice and it does not cause her any harm. I am not against marriage, probably because my parents have been together for almost 40 years and they are a happy and strong couple. I am not against choosing to remain single because some of the women I admire the most are not married, nor do they have children. In short, I truly believe it is important to remain true to yourself and choose what makes you happier. Said choice is a difficult one when it comes to our private lives, as society still seems obsessed with women marrying and having children so that they are defined by their relationships to other people rather than in their own terms.

Bolick explores what singlehood means for her, and reflects on whether it is conscious choice or the product of failed relationships in which she did not feel comfortable. Having said this, the author is very clear in that she has experienced most kind of relationships: Open relationships, one-night stands, long-term relationships that everyone expected to end in marriage, she has shared a flat with her partner, and she has lived alone. As she approaches her 40th birthday she realises that she does not need to accommodate to anyone’s idea of how her life should be, but it takes a process of reflection and self-criticism to reach this point. That is what Spinster is, a woman’s journey to define herself and find what makes her happy in a society where dating, marrying and having children are considered the default life paths of the vast majority.

We like to pretend that only single people are lonely, and coupledom is the cure.

I only found a problem with the book and that was the definition of singlehood by Bolick. As a white, middle-class, educated woman living in New England she works with a very fixed definition of what being in a relationship means, and what getting married means. Throughout the book I was surprised to find that this definition remained stable through her 20’s and 30’s, and I wondered if the age gap between her and me was the problem here. She even admits to seeing women in two groups: Married and not-married, and wonders if singlehood will mean she will end up a bag-lady, or a cat-lady. For Bolick being in a committed, long-term relationship and eventually marrying equals will compromise the woman’s freedom and right to act on her own terms. On the contrary, being single may be hard, but grants the woman an escape from patriarchal subjection. Contemporary feminist writers, such as Louise O’Neill, have already written about the complex relationship between being a feminist and the consequences of entering a heterosexual relationship in a society where women are still not considered equals to men.

While this could be true to our mothers’ generation, I am hopeful things have changed for some of us as more men define themselves as feminists and make a conscious effort of escaping traditional gender roles in relationships. But also, as women escape stereotypes and try to find a balance between being completely alone in life or the centre of a big family. Being in a couple will not guarantee anyone’s happiness, nor will being alone make you a cat-lady. Bolick plays with extreme situations while making her choice, and although no one knows what the future holds, I want to believe that things are changing. More and more people are questioning the dating-marrying-children lifestyle, and more and more people are defining their lives on their own terms. There is no need to torture ourselves with the idea of becoming a desperate housewife or a bag lady, is it? But maybe that is my Millennial’s naiveté speaking (*).

Bolick herself sees some light at the end of the tunnel when she speaks about Markus and Nurius’s study about the imagined future and our possible self from 1986. These two researches from the University of Michigan conducted a study on how our own perceptions of the future affect our present and the future itself. You can check the abstract of their academic article here. This mechanism is also known as self-fulfilling prophecy and it concludes that human agency depends on our capacity to imagine ourselves in the future. Hence, if you imagine yourself a happy single woman with significant relationships with your family, friends and colleagues, it is very more likely you will achieve that situation. On the other hand, if you think that remaining single will turn you into a cat-lady then that situation is more likely to happen. This is why Bolick’s awakeners and role models in feminism are so important: If you can see it, you can be it.


Astronaut and astrophysicist Sally Ride (1951 – 2012), the first American woman in space aboard the space shuttle Challenger on the importance of female role models.

However, the thing that I loved the most about Spinster is Bolick’s love for these women writers and the act of writing on itself. Bolick is a journalist and a writer, and she has a passion for stories, especially women’s stories, especially from the past. While I read this book I found myself writing more than I usually do, and the author became a colleague, a friend, who was struggling with writing the same way that I was, and was pushing me harder, forward. Even though I did not agree with everything that Bolick says about partnership, being in a relationship and marriage, I respected her point of view and instead chose to fully connect with her through respect for our different points of view and our shared love for literature and writing.

To write a sentence, then a paragraph, then another, and to have someone else read those lines and immediately understand what I meant to express – I wanted to try that.

In short Spinster is a very interesting and necessary book for anyone looking to reflect on women’s lived experiences and women writers alike. This is not a self-help book, nor does it contain any answers. What works for someone could be a personal nightmare for me and vice-versa. Bolick works hard at defending her singlehood, but so would I about defending my relationship. What matters the most is that this book is visibilising singlehood and putting it out there as a happy choice in life. Spinster is then a celebration of women’s right to choose what makes them happy, rather than just conform to society’s expectations. A luxurious choice for women in the past not so long ago, and a necessary conversation still nowadays.

(*) If you are interested in reflecting about marriage, feminism, children, committment, education and the intersection of all these issues, check the Stuff Mom Never Told You Youtube channel where feminist Cristen Conger does research on similar issues. In this video she reflects on the statistics that show how Millennials have different values regarding committment, marriage and stability than the previous generation:

Giveaway! Dogs and Their People (US Only)

Hello there!

It’s fall y’all! The light has changed, the days are shorter, and the days feel crispy and warm at the same time. You know what else happened this month? The Puppy turned 3! I can’t believe he’s been part of our family for 3 years now, and none of us remembers a time when he was not there making us play go-and-fetch 24/7.


To celebrate The Puppy’s birthday I am giving away ONE physical copy of Dogs and Their People by Barkpost and published by Penguin Random House in the US on 18th October. If, like me, all you need to light up your day is to look for pictures/videos of cute dogs on the Internet – Golden Retrievers and Christmas lights anyone? – then this book is perfect for you. And if you are a cat person, then this book may be perfect for one of those crazy dog people in your life!


A collection of community-sourced and never-before-told anecdotes, stories, photos, and intimate insights, DOGS AND THEIR PEOPLE captures the depth, spirit, and power of the extraordinary bond between humans and their pups and spotlights more than two hundred unique and remarkable dogs. Some are celebri-dogs (oh hello, Tuna Melts My Heart and Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund) while others are just making their debut (like Putnam publicist Katie’s Newfoundland, Hank, on page 228!); some will make your heart ache while others will make it soar; and others simply look dapper in color.

But this book isn’t just about the dogs; it’s about celebrating the crazy, consuming, unconditional love we feel for them. It’s about the songs you’ve made up for them, the hugs you’ve given them on bad days, and all the outfits that—let’s be honest—you forced them into. It’s about the lightness they’ve brought to our lives just by being there—and having smushy faces. We hear you, dog people; this one is for you.

To enter the giveaway:

  • You must be +18 or have your legal guardian’s consent.
  • You must reside in the US.
  • You must leave a comment in this post. If you don’t have a WordPress account, please fill in the form with a valid e-mail address so that I can contact you in case you’re the lucky winner.

The winner will be chosen next Monday (10/31) and will be notified via email. Were they not to respond in 72 hours, another winner will be chosen.

Best of luck and happy reading!


The Muse by Jessie Burton

Author Jessie Burton became an international sensation when her first novel The Miniaturist became a best-seller across Europe. Back then my Twitter feed was full of praise for Burton and her debut novel. However, the story did not appeal to me at all, and after discussing this with other bloggers I decided I did not have to read a book just because everyone loved it. When Burton’s next novel The Muse came out last June I knew it was the right time to discover the author everyone loves. Thanks to Picador for the review copy.


The Muse tells two different stories, both with women as main characters. In 1967 Odelle Bastien, young aspiring writer recently arrived from Trinidad, clims one of London’s most prestigious galleries to start a job that will change her life. Meanwhile, Olive Schloss moved to Spain in 1936 with her Jewish family trying to escape central Europe’s madness. What she does not know is that Spain is about to enter a madness of its own.How these two stories relate, and how both women are connected are up to readers to discover. More information can be found on the backcover of the book, but I think The Muse is one of those books that has to be discovered on its own. If you are feeling brave, I suggest you stop reading here and pick up a copy without doing more research.

The novel is a meditation on art, home, love, and the immigrant experience that will hit close to home to European readers who, like Odelle and Olive, are either experiencing or feeling powerless about the suffering that is happening. In any case, Burton makes the immigration experience a subjective one, where people are not part of waves of immigration or displaced groups, but rather individiuals with feelings, desires and aspirations:

There were tears, of course, mainly sobbed into my sagging pillow. The pressure of desire curled inside me. I was ashamed of it, and yet it defined me. I had bigger things I wanted to do, and I’d done five years of waiting. In the meantime, I wrote revenge poems about the English weather, and lied to my mother that London was heaven. (Odelle, 1967).

As a young, educated, black woman living in London in 1967 Odelle is faced with the lie of colonial education, that is, the terrible lies the Empire told about the motherland in the colonies. She also struggles with her identity, as she does not feel Caribbean nor does she feel English. Who is she? And what is she living in the inbetweenness when she was praised in Trinidad for her English manners and education? Odelle also has to face the reality behind the colonial enterprise and the racial hierarchies still alive so that when she starts dating a white, English boy, she is openly insulted by an old lady.

Meanwhile, Olive is the teenage daughter an affluent European couple. Her father is a Jewish art merchant escaping the horrors of Vienna, while her mother clings to her past as a flapper and her fading beauty. But Olive – who uncanningly embodies the current hipster aesthetics and lifestyle – just wants to be an artist. At the beginning of her story she is desperate to escape Spain and move to London, where she has been admitted into a presitigious art school. But things change when she meets Teresa and Isaac, working-class local sibblings desperate to make a living out the newly arrived Schloss family. Burton did a great job of portraying Andalusia’s poverty and socio-economic troubles, but also the ideological tension that preceeded the Spanish Civil War (1936 – 1939). Isaac is ‘a red’ with connections to Malaga’s annrchist groups, but also a social activist. However, his ideology does not prevent him from being gender-equality blind, and from performing a masculinity verging on the ‘Spanish macho’ stereotype: Dark, strong, a little bit rough, a fighter, you can imagine Olive’s response to him.

Luckily for female and feminist readers Olive is aware of gender roles and she struggles to perform her identity as an artist and as a young, desirable woman:

The artist as naturally male was such a widely held presupposition that Olive had come at times to believe it herself. As a nineteen-year-old girl, she as on the underside; the dogged, plucky mascot of amateurship. (Olive, 1936)

Do you know how many of them [artist sold by Olive’s father] are women, Isaac? None. Not one. Women can’t do it, you see. They haven’t got the vision, although last time I checked they had eyes, and hands, and hearts and souls. (Olive, 1936)

In 1967 Odelle seems to feel free to be a woman artist, although Burton wisely added racial diversity to the struggle posting questions about race, social class and ethnicity and what we, as a society, believe to be art.

The Muse is probably the best book I have read this year until now. Sitting down and opening the book – a work of art on its own, as the cover is one of the most beautiful I have seen – was a pleasure that took me out of a reading slump and reminded me why I love books, and art, and stories.

What Our Insistence On Ferrante’s Identity Actually Means About Women, Consent, And Art

I am currently reading and enjoying the internationally acclaimed Neapolitan novels by Elena Ferrante featuring childhood friends Elena and Lila after everyone whose literary taste I trust kept raving about them online. This week I have just started the second one – they are four, and I’m told the two last ones are the real jewels – and I do not know much either about the childhood friends’ fate, or how the novel, let alone the series, may end. I know even less about the author, except that we share a name and that makes me happy somehow.

Yesterday morning my Twitter feed went crazy after the New York Times reported that an Italian journalist claims to know Ferrante’s real identity. It turns out the now international acclaimed author’s name is just a pseudonym under which a woman decided to write four of the most successful novels of the decade. From fellow authors, such as Girl on the Train‘s Paula Hawkins to The Trouble of Goats and Sheep’s Joanna Cannon, to other bloggers lamented that said journalist decided to interfere with Ferrante’s anonymity. As I read their responses I realised that this is not a literary issue, it is not even about privacy. It is just another way in which women’s bodies and voices are trying to be silenced. This is about consent.

The fact that the woman writing under the pseudonym ‘Elena Ferrante’ has decided to remain anonymous may respond to various reasons, none of them anybody’s business but hers own. As rage flooded the twittersphere many shared one of Ferrante’s few interviews in which she explains why she has decided to remain anonymous. She highlights a disdain for self-promotion, and states her desire to let her art speak for itself. Even though these snippets into the personality of one of Italy’s most successful writers shines some light into the motives behind her mysterious identity, explanations were never needed.


Potrait of fictional character Lila for the Spanish translation of Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend.

When Ferrante decided to publish her work under a pseudonym, she was making an informed decision both as an adult, and as an intelligent woman. You only have to read the first ten pages of My Brilliant Friend to realise that the novel is a masterful work of art on its own, dwelling on issues such as violence, gender stereotypes, women’s right to education, family relations, marriage, and friendship. The fact that a journalist – a man – decided to violate Ferrante’s wish to remain anonymous only shows the privilege of thinking he could do so, but also the idea that women’s decisions are not to be respected. As the tough, sexist male characters that harass fictional Elena and Lila, this man – who I will not name, because he does not deserve the publicity – has taken a woman’s agency for granted, and has decided to impose his will onto it.

Luckily, many people, especially women, expressed their disgust at this journalist’s enterprise highlighting how difficult it still is for women to freely express themselves. After all, being a writer means making full use of your voice, and clearly stating to the world that you are not afraid to use it. Not only that, but you are not afraid to be heard. Being a writer means being assertive, creating something new and sharing it with the world. It is all about stating: ‘This is my story and I choose to tell it, and how to tell it’. Articles like the one on the NYT only come to show that there are some people out there – I will be brave here myself and say mostly men, though not all of them luckily – who are not comfortable with hearing a woman’s voice roaring stating her agency, proud of herself and what she has just created.

The act of freely creating and sharing said art with the world is the ultimate rebellion against a society that has traditionally silenced and deleted women’s voices from what is considered valid knowledge and successful products. Hence, when few women dared to fight for their right to create they saw their works hidden under their male relatives’ names, or what is considered History erased their names and their contributions. After more than a century of passionate fights – sometimes to death –, it would only be normal to believe women have finally gained their right to create. It may seem so at first sight, with women writing the most successful novels of the year, especially in the crime fiction genre. But a closer look may uncover the uncanny, disgusting and subtle ways in which contemporary society insists on silencing women, and ignoring their decisions.

Many will argue that once Ferrante chose to publish her art she was entering a game from which she could not escape. These very people are the ones who would also say ‘she was asking for it’. We live in a celebrity-oriented culture where people and their lives have become a form an entertainment and their art, if produced at all, comes secondary. Despite this sad state of affairs it is still possible to find art produced by people who do not want to enter the celebrity game. But Elena Ferrante is one of those rare beasts who wants to communicate with her audience through her art, rather through television, radio or the Internet. That is if we, as a society, can stand it.

Ferrante’s fight for anonymity represents a woman’s struggle to live her life in her own terms and make her own decisions, while patiently waiting for the rest of the world to agree to those terms. Or at least, to respect them. Articles like the one of the NYT are a violation of a woman’s rights to make her own decisions, and show that it is still very difficult to be taken seriously when said decisions do not please those in power. In short, people’s desire to uncover Ferrante’s real-life identity is just a struggle between how much to give of oneself, and how much society demands of us. It is just another reflection of a power struggle between female independence and autonomy, and traditionally held beliefs, prejudices and assumptions about women in a patriarchal society.

The only good thing coming from this sad incident is the international conversation it has started on women, artists, and privacy in the 21st century. I truly hope women writers all over the world will still actively choose to share their art – one of the most intimate expressions of the self – publicaly and in their own terms. Ferrante’s private identity should remain private, as her age, real name, location, husband or occupation (apart from writer) do not change one bit her skillful writing. And even if they did, it is her choice and only hers how much of her private self to share with us, and when. Meanwhile, it is time for us to think and reflect on why it is still so difficult for many to respect women’s decisions. ‘No’ has always meant ‘no’.

The Lie by C.L. Taylor

I think I must have heard about crime fiction author C.L. Taylor where I usually do, over Twitter. With time, I saw how some fellow bloggers praised her novels, and when I found myself browsing Waterstones Cardiff last year I came upon her novel The Lie and I bought it.


The reason to choose The Lie among Taylor’s novels was simple and easy: The story involves Jane, a young, female main character who lives in a cottage in rural Wales, works at an animal sanctuary, and has a dark past. As I was spending my last morning in Cardiff, unsure on when I could return to Wales, I decided it would be a great idea to buy something to remind of my good times there. Also if you follow me on Instragram, you know I am an animal lover and my love for The Puppy has him spoilt rotten. At first sight, The Lie seemed the perfect novel for me, and it was.

I could not put the book down from chapter 1 up until the very end. Jane Hughes has a supposedly common life in rural Wales until an anonymous person makes sure she knows her past is not buried. The back of the novel already informs readers of a dark turn in an international escape Jane and her friends embarked on five years earlier. Taylor masterfully tells both stories in first person, shifting between Jane’s present and past and making it easy for readers to follow the change in time and setting.

The present follows Jane as she tries to hide her past and rebuild her life in Wales. But the story about her past was made even more interesting by the dynamics between the four friends who embarked on the trip. As I was reading, their relationships reminded of Lena Durham’s TV show Girls, and how female friendship is achievable in a patriarchal context, yet complex. Meanwhile, the story set in the present keeps the reader interested in the past, but also in Jane’s evolution as a person. Who is she really? And what is she hiding? Is it possible to leave your past behind and start a new life?

The crime(s) in the book are outstanding, since Taylor questions what is a crime and how it should affect the people involved. Is Jane’s new life a crime? Does she have a right to create a new identity and lie to everyone in Wales about who she really is? But, things do not end there, and Taylor makes a magnificent use of crime fiction’s ability to question society by including violence towards animals as a crime that too many times goes unpunished.

The Lie is the first novel that I read by C.L. Taylor, but certainly not the last one. It is a gripping crime novel with a very interesting and complex female main character who engages in a diverse of relationships with other women (friends, mother-daughter, employer-employee). I would recommend The Lie to anyone who is looking for a page-turner and wants to be left wanting more, soon.

Marcella: Troubled Detectives, Green Parkas, and Fringes

Last June I started watching ITV’s new show Marcella after some people on my Twitter timeline mentioned it. Three episodes down the line bad reviews started to appear, with even The Pool criticising how Marcella’s parka was used to turn her into a television icon like Sara Lund and her jumpers. By that time I was travelling a lot and did not have much time to watch and enjoy the series. As I returned to them in my last week of my summer break, I rediscovered a fantastic television show with a defined aesthetic, and a new female detective to join the ranks of my television role models.


International viewers will probably be surprised at Anna Friel’s performance, since the British actress is not really well-known in other countries. Friel does an amazing job at giving life to Marcella, stay-at-home mum and wife who returns to her job to the Metropolitan Police after her marriage falls apart and her children move to a boarding school. Right from the beginning Marcella identifies a pattern in a series of apparently random killings in the city when a colleague visits her to ask for some information from an old case she worked on in 2005. As the pictures of these new killings pick her interest she decides to return to the Met while her new colleagues question whether Marcella is actually a good detective or someone who cannot leave the past behind.

Rather than present these killings as a procedural series, Marcella‘s season 1 cleverly entwined police work and the characters’ personal lives in ways that sometimes seem confusing and may leave audiences wondering what is really happening. I highly suggest binge-watching this first season, as it is easier to make the connections between the vast number of characters and their sometimes secret lives. I was really happy to see some familiar faces such as Downton Abbey‘s Laura Carmichael in a very different role, as well as prolific television actress Nina Sosanya. The series was originally written in Swedish and later on translated into English by Hans Rosenfeldt, who was also in charge of the Scandi sensation Bron (The Bridge). This Scandi influence is overtly reflected on the night settings and the darkness that generally floods every scene.


MARCELLA EPISODE 7 Pictured: RAY PANTHAKI as DI Rav Sangha, CHARLIE COVELL as DI Alex Dier, JACK DOOLAN as DC Mark Travis, NINA SOSANYA as DCI Laura Porter and ANNA FRIEL as Marcella.

The first season focuses on a series of murders that resemble one of Marcella’s most challenging cases. As she brings together her past and the present, her team of colleagues will post some very interesting moral questions to the audience with Marcella’s responses being the most extreme. How are can the police go to solve a crime? Is it right to harass a criminal on parole in order to prevent him from doing more harm? In questioning suspects, where is the line between pressure and torture? The feeling of instability and blurred lines is made more intense by Marcella’s blackouts and the stress she is under, both professionally and personally.

In the glimpses we are given into Marcella’s personal life, we get to discover a middle-aged woman, a terrific yet complex DS, and a troubled mother and wife who is dealing with her recent separation. It was refreshing to see a female main character come undone at times yet returning to work with all her strength, because that is what really drives her. Motherhood plays a key role with Marcella’s kids struggling with the separation as well, and blaming their mother for it. One of the most interesting relationships was the attempt at a civil relationship between Marcella, her husband and their kids. Despite her betrayal, Marcella herself recognises her partner’s good parenting and tries to make the situation as easy for the children as she can. However, this does not mean she lets herself be a martyr, and she comes up with the truth when she decides she does not have to carry the weight world on her shoulders.

Marcella’s personal life also includes her house and her closet, full of practical and comfortable clothes with her green parka being an icon. The Pool criticised the way Marcella’s parka is used to construct the character and sell clothes to the series’ female audience. I must disagree after I bought myself one for this winter completely unaware of where I had gotten the idea of replacing my worn out and ragged parka with one that looks uncannily like Marcella’s. Clothes have become iconic in crime fiction, a genre that is more a character study than a mere procedural, with the main characters’ clothes becoming references to the general public: Sherlock’s hat, Sarah Lund’s jumpers, Temperance Brennan’s jewels, Stella Gibson’s blouses. And now Marcella’s green parka, with that wonderful fringe of fur framing the hood, protecting its wearer of the cold London weather.

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The same could be said about Marcella’s deep auburn hair, which comes out with some coppery highlights depending on the light. And her fringe, which I am sure has inspired more than one woman to get that shoulder-length and fringed hairstyle that can so easily become a comfortable ponytail yet look glamorous. I also appreciated how the colour worn out throughout the season, so that by episode 8 Marcella’s roots were easily visible. It is sometimes difficult to connect with female main characters when they have been working for weeks without a break and they still look red carpet perfect. Marcella’s hair is almost always up, trying not to get in her way, and looking dry and not so-done and one would expect on a television show.

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Marcella is a new step forward in crime fiction television shows with a female lead. The dramatic turn of her personal life gives Marcella depth and a story the audience can relate to. Her return to work after her stay-at-home period is also something to highlight, as some of her colleagues openly show their reservations at Marcella’s return. Is she still a good detective? And can she cope with her personal traumas and the new investigation? This first season is a successful attempt at constructing an iconic and troubled female detective with needs and failures and a non-normative morality, with a personal and professional life in which female sexuality comes out as something natural that only Marcella herself can define.

It was recently announced that ITV is producing a second season to be broadcasted in 2017. I cannot wait to see the challenges and moral dilemmas Marcella has to face. If season 1 finished with her admitting ‘I don’t know who I am anymore’, one can only expect season 2 to be yet another character study of a beloved character that, I’m afraid, we haven’t gotten to know at all yet.

10 Books of Summer Re-Cap

Now that summer is mostly officially over it is time to check how many of the 10 books I listed for my 10 Books of Summer Project I read (spoiler alert: not many!). You can check my original list here.


And the answer is 4. This is why I don’t usually join challenges: even though I love the idea of reading from a list, when it’s time to pick up my next book I usually go by intuition. I feel the need to read this or that and no other book will do. However, I have to admit that sticking  to Cathy’s project made me read books and authors I knew I had to read but I kept putting back on my list or pile. In case you’re interested, here are the links to my reviews:

After You Die by Eva Dolan: high-quality and diverse crime fiction.

Wilde Lake by Laura Lippman: My first Lippman! A complex novel, half legal thriller, half character study, and very American – in a good way.

My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem: an auto-biography on travelling and becoming a woman.

The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton: This project was definitely an opportunity to read great authors for the first time. My first Wharton, but absolutely not my last.

I would like to thank Cathy Brown at 746 Books the opportunity to join and all the hard-work behind the scenes. I am very happy with my reading, even though it is not remotely close to what I expected to read! Can’t wait to join next year.

If you also joined the 20 Books of Summer project, feel free to leave a link below. We’d all love to see what you read🙂