Deborah Levy: Real Estate

I thought this book would be a short and sweet read, but I struggled through it. I plowed through and understood only thirty percent of it. It’s definitely my own shortcomings as a reader.

I must admit. As I was reading this book, my mind was drifting off elsewhere; therefore, I got lost half way through, but I kept reading because I didn’t want to give up. After finishing it the first time, I didn’t get much out of it. I decided to start over from the beginning and to read slowly.

Deborah Levy’s Real Estate turned out to be lyrical and beautiful and I enjoyed it the second time around. Levy writes about her single life at sixty. She and her husband had divorced and her daughters had moved out of her house. In addition to places she was dreaming of, she was searching for characters, the female characters in particular. I love the following passage about estate and language:

None of this real estate belonged to me, but I felt I belonged to it.

I wrote every day in its long, timbered attic and finally acknowledged I did not have a tranquil relationship with language because I am in love with it. I asked myself, what sort of love? Language is a building site. It is always in the process of being constructed and repaired. It can fall apart and be made again.

I definitely recommend reading it slowly for pleasure. It is indeed short and sweet.