The Awakening of Miss Prim

Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera, 2013, 258 pages

Rating: 2 out of 6.

The Awakening of Miss Prim is a cozy story about a modern, educated, proud and inflexible woman who answers an ad to be a librarian in the village of San Ireneo. Her employer is educating his nieces and nephews and needs help organizing his extensive library. From time to time, they find themselves debating education and books at his fireside. The townspeople also introduce her to new ways of seeing things. The back cover says this book is about a search for happiness and the simpler life. Other reviewers have recommended The Awakening of Miss Prim for book clubs.

This book was a light and easy read. I had a hard time understanding exactly what the awakening was, or what exactly the author was trying to say. Some characters made statements that other characters took to be profound. But I wasn’t quite sure what was meant. The main characters seemed to represent groups of people within society, like maybe this is a fable. It was hard to see them as real, more like generalizations. I don’t mean this as detriment, just an observation.

The author kept to Miss Prim’s point of view throughout. Often we are told what other characters are thinking and that explains more of what the story is trying to say. But this story is much like real life in that you didn’t know what any one else is thinking, except by what they said. And in this case, it was often cryptic.

My favorite part was Miss Prim’s farewells to everyone before she left San Ireneo. These interactions made her seem more like a ‘real’ person. I enjoyed reading it but would like more input on what the awakening was and why it ended the way it did. Don’t want to spoil it for those that haven’t read it.

If you have read this book, could you please explain what it meant to you?

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