Dolce Agonia by Nancy Huston is a fascinating book that doesn’t seem to be well known. I’m not sure whether the fact that it was originally written in french attributes to it’s scarcity but It took me a while to find a copy – in English or French.
However, the search proved fruitful as I found a copy sold by someone in Europe. I purchased it, had it shipped, and quickly dove in.
In Dolce Agonia, Nancy Huston addresses all facets of life. Love, motherhood, old age, and even death are all discussed in a relevant and thought-provoking way.
The story reunites friends of all ages, professions and background for thanksgiving, giving us a brief moment in every guest’s mind. As you can imagine, reuniting so many different characters in one room can call for a very interesting get-together.
What I loved the most, and the thing I found brought an interesting view to the book was the alternation between the dialogues, inner thoughts and also a few words from a higher being (which reminded me a lot of Death’s passages in The Book Thief) that gives you a look in the future of every character.
Whether you call him/her Death, God, The Narrator or any other name, the added view adds so much to the novel and, I believe, was needed to make this book what it is.
Dolce Agonia isn’t an action novel. I’m completely aware that it is not a book for everyone and many will find it lacks excitement to say the least. However, for those of you who enjoy great character development in novels, you may want to get a hold of it.