Happening | Annie Ernaux | Book Review

Spoiler Free Review

Happening was a book I’ve been wanting to read for a while and also is my pick for the French book in my Project Cross Borders where I plan to read atleast one book from every country listen in the United Nations. This book truly is powerful in what Annie has to say of her experience of an illegal abortion in her youth in 1960s France.

Title: Happening
Author: Annie Ernaux (Tr. Tanya Leslie)
Genre: Non Fiction / Memoir
Pages: 96
Rating: 4/5
Links: Goodreads | Amazon
Image Credits: Goodreads

My Thoughts

This small book of less than 100 pages is an intense experience of the author undergoing an abortion in France in the 1960’s when abortions were illegal.

Annie talks about a time where abortion was taboo and was stigmatized. The social condemnation and humiliation she would face for having the child was one of the reasons she wished to go-ahead for the abortion. She talks about the pain and the actual experience of the illegal abortion and facing death when she woke up in the hospital as a consequence based on her diary entries of the time.

As was often the case, you couldn’t tell whether abortion was banned because it was wrong or wrong because it was banned. People judged according to the law, they didn’t judge the law.

This was a personal account of hers and has been narrated it exactly in that manner. People can write about abortions and all, but it is a whole different experience to read the personal account and what exactly one has to go through while experiencing it. The narrative was as it is, and not about reminiscing the past and how she changed from the trauma. Oh yes, the writing is an evidence of how traumatizing the experience was for her and that is what makes this book what it is.

What I really liked about the book: The honesty with which Annie writes the book is something that has been something I really liked. Her narration and the pacing of the accounts of the day was just right without going into any sort of philosophy or preaching anything.

What I didn’t like about the book: Nothing?

My Recommendation

This is a book that can be finished in one sitting and definitely is intense and not something for children. This book can be read by anyone who wishes to read about abortions or the times or experiences of how someone has to cross the line that is drawn by the law to get it done.

I Would Rate it:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Until Next Time,
Stay Home, Stay Safe,
More Power To You

Cover Pic: Bookishelise

One thought on “Happening | Annie Ernaux | Book Review

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