Reviews

The Copenhagen Trilogy: Childhood; Youth; Dependency, by Tove Ditlevsen

fossilchapters's review

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challenging dark emotional hopeful informative reflective sad medium-paced

2.5

(SPOILER)


I came into this book because of women in translation month. I have to say that I didn't really like it that much. Sometimes with the end of this novel the author tries to justify some of her actions and why she was okay with it. I don't think she ever truly married for love if the man wasn't going to help her succeed in some way. She saw cheating as okay when it was her own fault she married men that were not good for her. I like the first two books but the last one I started to skim through once I reach part 2. There were a lot of graphic sections on withdrawal symptoms which were making my stomach sick.. I get she wanting to tell me about her life but I felt that I would have rather had a little less of that. I like that she was able to live out her dream though but I felt in some way once she made it she did what most everyone else does: get on drugs and alcohol. Would I read this book again no. I haven't liked the two other translation fiction I have read. So I am hoping Breasts And Egg will be at least a 4 star book for me.



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nerdynursereads's review

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emotional reflective sad medium-paced

4.0

shealwaysreadsbooks's review against another edition

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emotional reflective sad medium-paced

5.0

hollyhudson's review against another edition

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5.0

a new favourite!

nmcnutt's review

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challenging dark emotional reflective sad slow-paced

4.5

carolinexmason's review

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3.0

   I’m not sure I would have picked this one on my own, but I did end up reading The Copenhagen Trilogy for a neighborhood book club. It’s a compendium of three novels (Childhood, Youth, and Dependency) written by Tove Ditlevsen and was originally published in Danish in the early 70s. From what I understand, it’s highly autobiographical. The novel follows Tove from her childhood years where she felt misunderstood and had a tumultuous relationship with her mother. The second book focuses on her relationships and marriages as she starts to see more success with her writing. The third book takes a much darker and wilder turn as Tove becomes addicted to a drug she was prescribed while getting an abortion and *Spoiler alert?* continues to struggle with for the rest of her life until she ultimately decides to commit suicide (which the author did in real life).
            The obvious comparison to this would be Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels. Both focus on women growing up in poor European families around the middle of the 20th century. The language often feels cold and stark, yet you do get a good sense of Tove’s complex interior life. The characters (especially her family) are very lifelike and her accounts of their struggles to get by were touching and is one I won’t soon forget. All in all, I was impressed but just didn’t connect with it enough to love it.

sarahhigh's review

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this shook me to my core. not for the faint of heart. an incredibly Plathian epic that spans from Ditvelsen’s childhood to just a few years before her death. it was honestly triggering yet so so gorgeously written.

asupernova's review

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5.0

wow

booksnailmail's review against another edition

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challenging dark emotional funny medium-paced

5.0

Ditlevsen’s memoir is unlike any I have read. It resurrected my steady thumping heart and pulled it into the meat of my throat. It stayed there long after the last pages, beating and beating and beating. 

The memoir, a trilogy, takes on tough subjects - coming of age in poverty, life set to the background of war, childhood under the roof of parents whose pithy love was saved only for the author’s older brother. 

Ultimately, this is a memoir for any lover of literature as Tove  finds a powerful anecdote to existential dread, which is writing poetry. Yet, Tove grew up in the 1920s, when far and few women wrote, especially none of her social status. Nevertheless, she writes to survive despite her mercurial mother and patronizing father. 

In Dependency, Tove maintains her whimsical and detached tone, even when describing her troubles with pregnancy and addiction, with domestic troubles and miscarriage. I found myself absolutely shattered, yet unable to produce a single tear.

This is a must-read for #womenintranslationmonth - The memoir is fluid yet pointed, like a searing light capable of burning through skin. The writing is tenacious and unforgettable, and I found myself parched for more work from the world of Ditlevsen

samarakroeger's review

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challenging dark emotional reflective sad slow-paced

4.25


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