Books Magazine

A Thing of the Moment by Bruno Noble

By Pamelascott

A Thing of the Moment is a narrative meditation on the subject of identity recounted in the first person singular by three women whom we follow from childhood to early adulthood, from the early 1970s to the late 1990s. It comprises their three interwoven stories... of how one girl deals with parental rejection, of how another emigrates from Japan in order to leave a strait-jacket society and of how a third deals with sexual abuse.

Sharon has no self-worth - no 'sense of self' - she can only see herself through the eyes of others and will do anything to be liked... Japanese Mie has a steely sense of who she is; she takes full ownership of herself, her decisions, what happens to her and how she treats others... Isabella has a predisposition to see herself from the outside and demonstrates her ability to leave her body at moments of physical stress...

And then there's Sebastian. While Sharon is the thread that ties the lives of the three women together, Sebastian is the knot - the bow and the beau - he delivers the climax. Having befriended all three female protagonists, he ties the themes that run through the novel together - the soul, the body, meat, cannibalism, selfhood, sex, choice, the meaning people seek to attach to life and the role of cities in shaping our lives.

***

[Isabella's mother hanged herself when she was six months pregnant with Isabella's sister] ***

(Unbound Digital, 5 June 2018, ebook, 416 pages, copy from the author and voluntarily reviewed)

***

***

In some ways, this was a really good book but there are a few things that didn't work for me and left me cold. The book is a powerful read at times. I lived the three different yet similar lives explored in the book. Much of what the women experience is easy to relate to. These scenes are vivid and descriptive and really stay in your mind. So what didn't work? The book has a lot of description and at times this is just too much, overlong and full of unnecessary detail. I felt bogged down at times. The main issue is that a lot of this doesn't add anything to the story and could have been cut without losing a thing. Also, the child abuse scenes were very detailed and this felt overboard and unpleasant at times. I know the purpose of these scenes but they were unpleasant and could have been handled more tactfully

Thing Moment Bruno Noble

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