When I Hit You | Women’s Prize 2018 Review

My thoughts on the unflinching novel When I Hit You by Meena Kandasamy (longlisted for this year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction)

Hannah @ From Beginning to Bookend: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDK4tm6lqv-kVuClga1-thA

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This is not a sponsored video, and unless otherwise stated, I bought these books myself.


Susan Reader says:

This book…what a book. Such substantive storytelling. I especially love the section where she writes letters to her ‘lovers’ and the dark humour in the first section as she prepares to tell her story. I, too, hope this book carries the day when the Prize is awarded.

LucieReads says:

Finally, a Women’s Prize book you enjoyed! I’ll be adding this one to my TBR 🙂

Eric Karl Anderson says:

As soon as I saw you smiling in the thumbnail to this video I knew it would be okay. Phew!
I loved this novel and I’m relieved you did too. Such a powerful story delivered in such an impactful way. You make such great points about the style of narration and her creative method of dealing with difficult scenes and a survivor’s story. Great review!
Go on… place a bet that it will win the prize!

Gemma Hahaj says:

I first heard about that one on Eric’s channel and then when I saw the longlist it was one of few books that I was excited to read (even if it seems like a weird phrasing for such topic) of-of it. Your very positive take only makes me more eager to pick it up. It doesn’t always happen while listening to a review for me to push a book up and up my tbr as the review goes on.What is up with that?
Oh, and you were fantastic as always ^^
It is funny seeing Eric relieved at the fact that you likd a book he also liked xD

Book Breakdown says:

One you enjoyed woo! haha
Sounds good I’ll be reading it soon!

Sydney Stories says:

Finally a hit for you!!!!

the sampler girl knits & reads says:

powerful – good review

Lydia Holmes says:

Yay, you liked a book of the shortlist! the shortlist should be announced very soon and I’m hopeful it’ll be on the list. I feel like the excuses people make for abusers tend to be along those same lines of coping when we’re confronted with awful scenes in a book.

Intentionally or unintentionally, of course, it undermines the victim’s story, but being able to see the abuser as a person and not an abuser allows the person to relax a little bit. As if, making a person more personable means they are less capable of terrible things (which they aren’t.)

So so nice to know there’s humour in the book, I was so worried that it would drag and be miserable but it sounds like an excellently-crafted work. Looking forward to your next review, as always. c:

Nitya Mathew says:

YES!! Am so glad you liked this one. This is the only one of the longlist that I’ve read or care to, for that matter (Maybe the Barker one too). And while am not sure about it winning (too bleak and too difficult a read?), am so glad that it’s getting some love and attention now. Was super-bummed that almost noone (on Booktube or Bookstagram) seemed to have read it or heard of it before the longlist came out. But yay!

And as usual, such a brilliant review. I almost took notes on each point. You said everything I thought about this book (but in an infinitely more articulate way) and then some more and then even more.

r19za MU says:

Been planning on buying this for ages, and now, because of you’ve approved, I MUST.

Marian Ryan says:

I’m the lone voice so far saying i didn’t like the book, but your comments may spur me to go back and finish it – I read half before putting it down. I really expected to meld with it because writing about taking narrative control of abuse and stories of the formation of a writer are right in my wheelhouse. I like experimental work in general but here I didn’t get on with the different forms she uses. Maybe it’s just her writing style that’s not for me. Honestly I’ll have to have another look to say exactly what I found off. I did theorize that maybe the situation was still too raw for her to write about well–in my opinion–but I’ve seen people do it well from such a close vantage point in time. Now I’m rambling. Thanks for your review, which I did thoroughly enjoy and appreciate.

SavidgeReads says:

Hurray!! It’s currently my winner too. I was completely taken by it even if it’s one of the darkest books I’ve read in a while, with that pitch black humour you mention. It’s brutally beautiful I thought. I thought how she described initial coercive control really creepy, doubly for showing how all to easily it can happen. Wonderful review. H(A)PPY should be with you by the weekend.

Liz86000 says:

You really liked one book of the long list ??!! Wow ! I’m impressed, lol ! (just teasing). This seems to be a great book, but I won’t read it as the subject is not one I want to dive into right now. Too heavy… I need light and happiness ! 😉

SigurSof says:

Yey! You like it!! I mean, as much as anyone can “like” a book on this topic….

Life is Better Green says:

Thank you for such an engaging review!! I am going to get this ASAP!

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