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Xhenet Aliu

Teoksen Brass tekijä

3 teosta 222 jäsentä 16 arvostelua

Tekijän teokset

Brass (2018) 202 kappaletta
Ottone (2019) 2 kappaletta

Merkitty avainsanalla

Yleistieto

Jäseniä

Kirja-arvosteluja

I loved this novel as a CT guy recognized the people, places and cultures and all the socio-economic-political nuances. The political of which I also connected with. Listened on Amazon audio prime and the voice narrations were good. I could picture the characters. I appreciated the theme of the story line since I work in community developent, social services/mental health and the expression I say in the office "too much life way too soon" kept recurring as I journied with the characters of Brass (addictions, teen pregnancy, rotten schooling, ethnic tensions, etc.). Great job. At the very end, I was not sure what might be next for the mom, daughter and sort of boyfriend. Not sure if that feeling of "what if, what's next" was what the author intended. Might be good set up for a sequel.… (lisätietoja)
 
Merkitty asiattomaksi
DunnGreg | 13 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jan 15, 2023 |
Told from two alternating points of view two decades apart this is the story of Elsie, the single mom who started out with high hopes and good intentions when she fell in love with a married man.


"It was 1996, the middle of March, a brutal part of the year when spring was supposed to hit but didn't, when I'd given up on ever being warm again."


Elsie's only daughter Luljeta both loves and hates her mother, never quite feeling like she fits in anywhere. She has been told very little about her father and now that she is growing from child to young woman decides to find out the truth for herself.


Part love story, part coming of age tale, part family drama but without being sappy this bittersweet novel touched my heart and hit my funny bone with sarcastic wit.


I received an advance copy for review.
… (lisätietoja)
 
Merkitty asiattomaksi
IreneCole | 13 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jul 27, 2022 |
Chip Off the Old Block

Xhenet Aliu portrays the lives of two women, a mother and her daughter, a small American city, Waterbury, CT, crushed dreams, and an Albanian immigrant community in transition from homeland customs to rough and ready U.S. capitalism, though that can’t compare to the financial snookering perpetrated by Albanians on Albanians in the 1990s, half the timeframe of the novel. Doubtless the circumstances of mother Elsie and daughter Luljeta are often desperate, but also in the end inspirational, at least in that given determination, there seems always to be a way out.

Aliu sets the story in Waterbury, in the 1990s for Elsie, in current times for Luljeta. She has both women tell their stories, Elsie’s about how she came to have Luljeta and raise her as a single mother, Luljeta’s concerning her feelings of being a misfit and inadequate and yearning to know about her father. Elsie tells her story in the first-person. Luljeta tells her in the second-person, which in the skillful hands of Aliu proves a very effective device helping us understand how Luljeta feels about herself, removed from the world, incomplete, and cynical about the whole thing.

Waterbury, once a prosperous city trilling on the several brass works in the city, has fallen unto hard times by the 1990s. Many without marketable knowledge-work skills find themselves casting around for anything to put bread on the table, exactly the plight of Elsie. She works in a small family run Albanian restaurant operated by husband and wife Gjonni and Yllka. There, she takes up with the fry cook, Bashkim. He’s fairly fresh from Albania and a man with big dreams and a wife back home. Bashkim, as do many of his fellow countrymen, talk constantly about getting rich on mysterious investments, mysterious because whenever Elsie questions him about them he blows her off. (These investments, numbering at least 25, were really a rash of pyramid schemes that eventually tore Albania apart and led to the Albanian Civil War in 1997.) Eventually, Elsie becomes pregnant with Luljeta and Bashkim deserts her for reasons left for readers to discover on their own.

Luljeta’s 17, always the odd girl out in school to the point where she’s subject to constant abuse, keeps herself moving forward with her big plans, a trait not unlike he father’s. Then she receives bad news that sends her into a tailspin; her aspirational college NYU rejects her. Like many teens, she’s at odds on the outside and as much in conflict within her home with mom Elsie. Eventually, she concocts a plan to find her father, especially after she learns his name and a smidge of Elsie’s and his life together from Yllka. In a parallel to her mother’s life with Bashkim, she accepts the help of a well off Albanian-American college boy Ahmet, whose entrepreneurial ambition is owning a couple of Panera Bread franchises. With him, she begins a quest to find her father and gain an understanding of herself. All, as they say, doesn’t quite turn out as planned.

If Luljeta had the benefit Aliu provides us readers, she would realize that in the most important ways, she is very much her mother’s daughter, conveyed by Aliu in the attitude and dialogue she conjures for each in their alternating stories. Beautifully written, capturing both adaptive immigrant life and desperate times, Aliu tells the tales with edge and humor. It’s a novel not to be missed.
… (lisätietoja)
 
Merkitty asiattomaksi
write-review | 13 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Nov 4, 2021 |
Chip Off the Old Block

Xhenet Aliu portrays the lives of two women, a mother and her daughter, a small American city, Waterbury, CT, crushed dreams, and an Albanian immigrant community in transition from homeland customs to rough and ready U.S. capitalism, though that can’t compare to the financial snookering perpetrated by Albanians on Albanians in the 1990s, half the timeframe of the novel. Doubtless the circumstances of mother Elsie and daughter Luljeta are often desperate, but also in the end inspirational, at least in that given determination, there seems always to be a way out.

Aliu sets the story in Waterbury, in the 1990s for Elsie, in current times for Luljeta. She has both women tell their stories, Elsie’s about how she came to have Luljeta and raise her as a single mother, Luljeta’s concerning her feelings of being a misfit and inadequate and yearning to know about her father. Elsie tells her story in the first-person. Luljeta tells her in the second-person, which in the skillful hands of Aliu proves a very effective device helping us understand how Luljeta feels about herself, removed from the world, incomplete, and cynical about the whole thing.

Waterbury, once a prosperous city trilling on the several brass works in the city, has fallen unto hard times by the 1990s. Many without marketable knowledge-work skills find themselves casting around for anything to put bread on the table, exactly the plight of Elsie. She works in a small family run Albanian restaurant operated by husband and wife Gjonni and Yllka. There, she takes up with the fry cook, Bashkim. He’s fairly fresh from Albania and a man with big dreams and a wife back home. Bashkim, as do many of his fellow countrymen, talk constantly about getting rich on mysterious investments, mysterious because whenever Elsie questions him about them he blows her off. (These investments, numbering at least 25, were really a rash of pyramid schemes that eventually tore Albania apart and led to the Albanian Civil War in 1997.) Eventually, Elsie becomes pregnant with Luljeta and Bashkim deserts her for reasons left for readers to discover on their own.

Luljeta’s 17, always the odd girl out in school to the point where she’s subject to constant abuse, keeps herself moving forward with her big plans, a trait not unlike he father’s. Then she receives bad news that sends her into a tailspin; her aspirational college NYU rejects her. Like many teens, she’s at odds on the outside and as much in conflict within her home with mom Elsie. Eventually, she concocts a plan to find her father, especially after she learns his name and a smidge of Elsie’s and his life together from Yllka. In a parallel to her mother’s life with Bashkim, she accepts the help of a well off Albanian-American college boy Ahmet, whose entrepreneurial ambition is owning a couple of Panera Bread franchises. With him, she begins a quest to find her father and gain an understanding of herself. All, as they say, doesn’t quite turn out as planned.

If Luljeta had the benefit Aliu provides us readers, she would realize that in the most important ways, she is very much her mother’s daughter, conveyed by Aliu in the attitude and dialogue she conjures for each in their alternating stories. Beautifully written, capturing both adaptive immigrant life and desperate times, Aliu tells the tales with edge and humor. It’s a novel not to be missed.
… (lisätietoja)
 
Merkitty asiattomaksi
write-review | 13 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Nov 4, 2021 |

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Arvio (tähdet)
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Kirja-arvosteluja
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ISBN:t
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