Book Review: Born of No Woman

Sous sa robe, c’est là que je les ai cachés.
De quoi parlez-vous ?
Les cahiers… Ceux de Rose.


When a priest is called to administer the last rites to a dead woman, he is told of hidden notebooks concealed upon the corpse. In these books he discovers the story of a young girl sold into slavery by her father.


There is a lot of suffering in the world. Throughout history, families have struggled and made decisions that they then live to regret. In desperate situations, none of us knows how we would react.

I’m very torn about this book.

When I started reading it, I enjoyed the beautifully poetic language that contrasted sharply with the subject matter. Franck Bouysse is a fantastic writer and Lara Vergnaud has (for the most part) translated the story well. As a rule, I dislike books without punctuation and although it doesn’t hinder the story, at times it is difficult to work out whose thoughts and feelings are being described.

The subject matter is very dark and the choice of language really helps the reader to visualise the horrors in their mind’s eye. The story is twisted, sad and brutal.

But it’s nothing new. The premise has been written about countless times and there is no shocking twist or character development to make this story stand out.

It’s a good read, but the ending is disappointing and there are gaps in the story that may confuse a reader. The effects of the abuse and trauma each character suffers would be long-lasting and unforgettable, but instead the author leaves us with an unrealistic, romanticised idea of what may have happened.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I received a copy of this book from Random Things Tours. All opinions my own.

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