Book Review: Hot Milk by Deborah Levy

Hot Milk
by Deborah Levy

Publication date: June 1st 2017
Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 218


Two women arrive in a village on the Spanish coast. Rose is suffering from a strange illness and her doctors are mystified. Her daughter Sofia has brought her here to find a cure with the infamous and controversial Dr Gomez – a man of questionable methods and motives. Intoxicated by thick heat and the seductive people who move through it, both women begin to see their lives clearly for the first time in years.

Through the opposing figures of mother and daughter, Deborah Levy explores the strange and monstrous nature of womanhood. Dreamlike and utterly compulsive, Hot Milk is a delirious fairy tale of feminine potency, a story both modern and timeless.

Source: Goodreads


Having previously loved “Swimming Home” I went ahead and asked for Deborah Levy‘s “Hot Milk” for Christmas and chose it as my first read of 2018.

“Hot Milk” is interesting, clever and deep. Written in simple terms,  there is so much more to this story than the words on the page. Somewhat dreamlike, this story of mother and daughter in Spain is filled with symbolism and it’s clear that this story is one to make you think.

As the narrator, 25 year old Sofia is as confused as the reader, trying to put her first class anthropological degree to use to understand her experiences. She’s muddled, puzzled and trapped as the main carer for her mother Rose, a hypochondriac seeking treatment in a specialist Spanish clinic.

“Actually, I’m not sure what the rules are any more and what I want to achieve. It’s a total unknown.”

This book is quirky and I can fully understand why people don’t like it. I think you really need to be in the right frame of mind and willing to think outside of the box to fully enjoy it.

Overall rating: A powerful short read which draws you in to it’s dreamlike world. It’s odd, but it’s good. Deborah Levy‘s “Hot Milk” gets 4 stars from me.

See my other reviews of books by Deborah Levy here:


7 thoughts on “Book Review: Hot Milk by Deborah Levy

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