Tante Eva by Paula Bomer

Published: May 18, 2021

Soho Press

I received a copy of this book for free, and I leave my review voluntarily.

Paula Bomer is the author of a novel, Nine Months, the story collections Baby and Inside Madeleine, and the essay collection Mystery and Mortality. She lives in Brooklyn.

“Pain is memorable, and the daily goodness of life is not.”

Eva has lived through more devastation than the average person. And while it has made her strong, it has also made her vulnerable. Her family situation is precarious, and she has been having a long-term affair with a married man. Her addiction to all the dangerous things in life is something that weighs on her. But her addictions are also what keeps her going.

This was a heavy book to read. The plot had some darkness that cannot be explained without having read the book. The characters, mainly Eva, have so much humanity in them. There is such a raw vulnerability to this story and the way it unfolds.

Not my typical style; there were not any dramatic twists or shocking turns. But a steady, downward spiral as the reality of life is played out.

Many of the scenes in this book were difficult to read. As much as I wanted to like the characters, there are not many redeeming qualities displayed. There is authentic humanity written across these pages, however.

The things we do for love. Be it romantic, familial, or otherwise, they are so clearly and brutally written throughout this book. Addiction is a significant theme in this book—addiction to drugs, alcohol, acceptance, denial, and ultimately desire.

There is a very emotional overtone to this story, and it is so eloquently written—the streets of brought to life in the most dramatic of ways. My biggest complaint is the majority of the dialogue is in German, with no translation. So it made the following conversation difficult. But the way the dialogue is written and responded to made the words make sense.

Deep, disturbing, and emotionally riveting, Tante Eva will capture and break your heart every chapter.

Leave a Reply