75 BOOK Nothing is True (2022)

February 19, 2024

Verónica Raimo (Rome – 1978)

“They say that when a writer is born into a family, that family is finished.”

This was the book selected for February in my local book club. The verdict was unanimous: we all loved it!

I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s a story centred around a very peculiar family. Undoubtedly, we all have somewhat “odd” families or are a bit “quirky” ourselves, even if we don’t want to admit it. However, this particular family has some rather pronounced peculiarities. Veronica, the protagonist, decides to share her story with us, detailing what it was like to grow up with parents who chose to “overprotect” their children, even from basic hygiene. They lived in an apartment where more walls appeared daily, and windows were scarce. Her mother was overwhelming and hyper-protective, while her father was paranoid, creating a suffocating environment for life. This had a notable impact on Verónica and her brother, who seems to have another version of the story, as indicated by the book title: “Nothing is True”.

The book’s discussion began by exploring familiar cultural similarities, especially in Latino cultures, where the theme of family always carries a “big deal”. We talked about suffocating parents and how, over time, we shape our identity, “rebelling” against what we were told we should be. It was also fascinating to discover the common wounds we share as human beings, facing sexuality and body knowledge in sometimes violent ways, which profoundly marks us after that.

The best part of the book, undoubtedly, was when we reflected on it, questioning our interpretations through the perceptions and opinions of others.

In the end, we watched a brief interview with the author, who claimed that the book is not autobiographical. However, we believe it has quite a few biographical elements, both in how it is written and in the many coincidences with the author’s life. However, she has her truth, and we have our interpretations.

Words that stuck with me:

  • “Why do all Italian novels revolve around family ties?”
  • “Most memories leave us without us even realizing.”

Thank you for reading.

Wishing you a fantastic day! 😘

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