mini review: ‘The Children’ by Carolina Sanín

Image result for the children carolina sanin cover

3 stars

‘The Children’ starts off as a peculiar story, but at least one I could follow and make sense of. Effectively Laura, a middle aged woman (who lives alone with her greyhound, Brus), comes across a small boy who appears to be homeless. She takes him in, makes reports through all the relevant channels, and then hands him over to the social care system. She continues to think about him, so tries to get back in touch with him and makes enquiries with a friend of the family who works in that department.

Then slowly, it all gets a bit odd. Surrealist elements start creeping in and I’m not quite sure what to make of it. From my recent venture into attempting to read ‘The Hearing Trumpet’, it seems that surrealist fiction doesn’t appear to be my type of thing.

Anyways, it’s pretty clear that this is a commentary on the welfare state and care of orphaned children in Colombia, but told in this kind of allegory… I think it went a bit over my head. It very much reminded me of ‘Fever Dream’, not that the stories are much alike, but more in the sense that I had a similar reading experience with both of them. Both are short, punchy, translated reads that are surreal and in some moments quite frightening, but at the roots are trying to tell you something quite important. I’m just not sure I quite ‘got’ it this time.

I think I’ll definitely benefit from a reread of this. But in the meantime, if you’ve read this, or have seen a good review around that goes into more depth, please let me know your thoughts!

sign off heartJess

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