Nine Island Is An Intimate Autobiographical Novel, Told By J, A Woman Who Lives In A Glass Tower On One Of Miami Beach S Lush Venetian Islands After Decades Of Disaster With Men, She Is Trying To Decide Whether To Withdraw Forever From Romantic Love Having Just Returned To Miami From A Monthlong Reunion With An Old Flame, Sir Gold, And A Visit To Her Fragile Mother, J Begins Translating Ovid S Magical Stories About The Transformations Caused By Eros A Woman Who Wants, A Man Who Wants Nothing These Two Have Stalked The World For Thousands Of Years, She ThinksWhen Not Ruminating Over Her Sexual Past And Current Fantasies, In The Company Of Only Her Aging Cat, J Observes The Comic, Sometimes Steamy Goings On Among Her Faded Glamour Condo Neighbors One Of Them, A Caring Nurse, Befriends Her, Eventually Offering The Opinion That If You Retire From Love Then You Retire From Life 3.5 rounded up This was a quick read and I think it d be great for women s book clubs lots of talking points While it s not in the same style, this type of novel reminds me of Anita Brookner books in that you re in the head of an older not old, maybe 40s woman who is considering whether or not to give up on romantic love Silly question What she s really doing is asking if she should settle for loser guys where no love is lost anyway Two things I really liked One, J no names are used, only first initals is translating Ovid I have no idea of any of his works and I thought most of the stories she mentions are Greek myths So I feel a little intellectually taller after finishing this Two, J actually uses all the amenities of her Miami high rise apartment she swims in the pool, walks, sits on the balcony, etc I see so many places like that where NO ONE is ever in the pool, spa, lobby, rooftop lounge and think, why are they spending the big bucks to live there I wasn t thrilled about the ending, but that s how it goes sometimes. There isn t much to this novel in that it s short, and in that it s pretty plotless but what is there is rather wonderful The narrator is only identified as J she s a middle aged writer living in a crumbling Miami apartment block with an assortment of eccentric neighbours Much of the story is composed of her contemplation of relationships is it time she gave up on love and sex She is single and childless, and a resurrected relationship with her first love, whom she calls Sir Gold, has recently ended Friends tell J she should try again and again to meet someone, but she only seems to encounter a parade of unsuitable suitors, deadbeats , from Par T Boy with his indecipherable patter, to the awful sexy monster of an ex she calls the Devil.J has a gloriously musical narrative voice, the rhythm of which makes even the most rote observations beautiful Her life meanders along with little incident mostly She visits her elderly mother cares for her ailing cat becomes concerned about the fate of a duck she finds stranded, its wing broken takes daily walks in the sticky Floridian climate lusts after young men she passes in the street watches the residents of the apartments opposite hers works on translations of Ovid as she lounges by the pool Whatever she is doing, thinking, observing, she is never less than delightful to spend time with.Nine Island is a warm, melodious, funny meditation on well, so many things Love, change, living alone, literature, getting older, your pets getting older, your parents getting older It s a deceptively small book that glitters like a gemstone.TinyLetter Twitter Instagram Tumblr Alison heads a creative writing program, so it s no surprise that the writing is impeccable But given a protagonist who s translating and reshaping Ovid s Metamorphoses to give them of a feminist metoo flavor, the book should have been engaging than it was I loved the recast stories but it took me three fourths of the book to stop feeling antagonistic toward the protagonist, a 50 something white woman who holds life at a distance and, in reflecting on her life and future, thinks almost exclusively in terms of her lovers and sexuality We finally get some insight into her issues near the end, but I wish some of that material had come earlier. Possibly the best book I ve read this year Poetic without overreaching, raw, gorgeous, sad, invigorating. 4.78 starsHey, here s a new book I actually appreciated which is saying something for me With its short chapters, lush sensory descriptions, and confessional tone, this book feels like a meditation A meditation on what it means and feels like to be alone The doubts and questions, the justifications and desires and hopes All of it A meditation on finding love and life in strange and often unexpected places A quiet book, but one with a deep resonance. rimanere sole La vita di J sospesa, fugge dall a ma non pu nemmeno smettere di cercarlo, il bisogno d amare ed essere amati troppo forte Leggendo entriamo in una dimensione immaginifica, tra ricordi, sogni ad occhi aperti, esperienze presenti e racconti tratti dalla Metamorfosi di Ovidio, racconti in cui donne si tramutano in alberi, ruscelli, pietreed la stessa pelle di J Ad essere indurita, corteccia spessa resa cos dalle delusioni Un libro che suona, fluisce e rimane impresso Leggete la recensione per saperene di pi , link sopra Dico solo che Nneditore si conferma una delle mie case editrici preferite Just finished reading Nine Island by Jane Alison I want to firstly thank Jane Alison and Catapult Publishing for a print copy I won on Goodreads.com Secondly, this is not usually a genre I would normally read, but that being said I was quite surprised how much I enjoyed this read It was beautifully written, humorous, touching and heartfelt A very poetic and introspective prose.Synopsis from cover Nine Island is an intimate autobiographical novel, told by J, a woman who lives in a glass tower on one of Miami Beach s lush Venetian Islands After decades of disaster with men, she is trying to decide whether to withdraw forever from romantic love Having just returned to Miami from a month long reunion with an old flame, Sir Gold, and a visit to her fragile mother, J begins translating Ovid s magical stories about the transformations caused by Eros A woman who wants, a man who wants nothing These two have stalked the world for thousands of years, she thinks.When not ruminating over her sexual past and current fantasies, in the company of only her aging cat, J observes the comic, sometimes steamy goings on among her faded glamour condo neighbors One of them, a caring nurse, befriends her, eventually offering the opinion that if you retire from love then you retire from life. I m not old yet, but my heart is sick with old desire, I m hovering between a 3 and 4 star but I ll bump it up to a 4 due to its originality, this is narrative poetry, the words glide on the page and before you know it you ve been swept up in it s lyrical beauty Rich evocative descriptions that are also short, tight and snappy every sentence a treasure trove of gold Introspective thoughtful observant nuggets I could list so many sentences that sang to me and made my heart revel in this delightful internal monologue, a woman questioning her worth as an older redundant woman Her descriptions of her little slice of Miami make this book visually alive Her descriptions of her surroundings are my favourite part as the plot is meandering observations than anything, with the theme of loneliness, aging and her imaginations of fantasy, reminiscing of lost youth and sexual vigour.She s obviously inspired heavily by Ovid as a lot of references are littered throughout and gives it a strong literary style, it s not an easy read and it s not a book that can be read with distractions It s a book that warrants your undivided attention as there is so much there to absorb Some passages I had to reread as it s not the style I m accustomed to after awhile though I got a little fatigued with the narrative style and looked forward to reading a straight novel again, so I m guessing this is a book that requires a certain type of reader who likes their books slightly off centre that s easy to read but demands some concentration. Nine Island is the kind of book that will sink in way after you have read it It makes most sense sometimes and no sense at all, the other times Jane Alison s writing is lucid at so many points and so vague at the other points You get my drift, don t you It is a dream like book I was astounded when it began the way it did and there were also times I was bored out of my mind Having said that, I reread a couple of passages of the book once I was done with it and let me tell you They sparkled and spoke in a new voice to me.What is the book about I don t know how to tell you what the book is about it is a lot of things actually a love story, a rumination on Ovid and his tales, about solitude and the bonds we forge as we grow older and circumstances change and mostly, it is about taking second chances and giving yourself the luxury to make your mistakes and fall in love, all over again.At the heart of the book is J It is an autobiographical novel by the way , who lives alone past a certain age and yearns for love and companionship She is trying to decide whether or not to withdraw from romantic love after returning from a reunion with an old flame, Sir Gold The visit to Sir Gold results in nothing and thus the decision to be made J lives in Miami and throughout the book ponders over love, Ovid she is translating his magical stories and about her ailing mother.Now, what took me by the horns where this book is concerned is the force of Alison s writing The form of writing is free flowing and that is what allows you to conveniently sink into it The book is candid and doesn t mince words about emotions and what J is going through The first person narrative works wonders for a book like this All in all, Nine Island is a book that will make you reassess your relationship and speak with you in ways you didn t imagine.