scorpionfish review.

Everything felt either rigidly compartmentalized or limitless.

[First and foremost, thank you to Tin House Books for the Advanced Copy received through NetGalley.] This book is out July 7th, 2020!

Natalie Bakopoulos is a master of nostalgic writing. Scorpionfish is a dreamy and engaging novel of time in between larger moments, and the relationships we choose.

Mira had recently lost both of her parents while living in Chicago and she returned home to Athens, Greece. While staying there, she reconnects with her friends Fady and Dimitra who are caring for a young refugee boy named Rami and her queer artist aunt/friend Nefeli who came of age during the time of a military dictatorship in Greece. She also meets someone new, her neighbor, the Captain.

This story is told in two perspectives, Mira and the Captain. The chapters go back and forth between the two characters and you slowly gain more insight into how they ended up where they are currently.

What I had taken for devotion was simply complacency, the most dangerous state of all.

I think what I enjoyed most from this novel are the descriptions of Athens and the islands. I have never been to Greece or read much about the place, but the way Bakopoulos writes makes me wish I had. The way she writes about the sea and the emotional connections the characters hold to the area made me appreciate the story so much more.

 The novel is rich and elegant in language with a deep feeling of nostalgia.

Then I felt a strange surge of joy despite the circumstances, and, for the first time in my life, inexplicably free.

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