Katherine and Masha: like listening to two friends while holding your breath.
The protagonists of this novel are two quiet heroines who will stay with you for a long time. Personally, I missed them for at least a week after finishing the novel.
Actually, I was already missing Katherine and Mahsa while turning over the last page and about to close the book. I kept thinking of them as I picked up The Elegance of the Hedgehog, fearing that it could not compete with Under The Visible Life for beauty and emotional involvement.
The main reason is that I like to lose myself in stories with female protagonists, more so regular women, the ones you meet every day in person and not in magazines.
I swear, I did not want to put the novel down, I wanted to stay with them a little longer. The point is, their lives are totally legit. Someone gets this close to success but inadvertently takes a step that will prove fatal and shut the door to that great opportunity forever. Someone else goes against everything and everyone and fulfils her dream; in the meantime, she must nevertheless deal with deprivation and waiting – tiresome waiting for people, money, opportunities.
What is the novel about?
It features some issues very close to our hearts. At least to mine!
There is friendship, firs and foremost. Supreme, imperishable, unfaltering, always present.
There is love between different races in a difficult historical moment and across continents. Some of these unions are broken, others conflicted. Some marriages, on the other hand, are forced.
There is true love. Unconventional love, against all religious laws and norms, the one that can wait a lifetime to ignite again, or the one that creates its own rules.
There is music. The engine that propels the novel, defines, nurtures Katherine and Masha and offers them a reason to live. It makes them meet and supports their bond.
I discovered Echlin while buying another book…
In fact, I saw this novel on the shelf of an independent bookstore in Viareggio (Tuscany, Italy), while I was buying another title. The cover immediately struck me, so I took a picture of it. After a quick online search, being Echlin Canadian, I opted for a super cheap copy on Amazon UK, used but in perfect condition and in English.