Her Name was Magda

in Hive Book Club3 months ago (edited)

Magda. She's strange, they'd say.
I wouldn't want Jenny or Sally to be hanging around a girl like Magda. Who knows what kind of values she was raised with.


She was 39. Tomorrow she'll be 40.

And also, I'm not Magda. But yeah, tomorrow is my birthday. I'm not scared anymore. I welcome wrinkles, decaying skin, and untrafficable body organs with open arms. I welcome old age like a long lost friend. The best thing about getting old is that nobody notices you anymore. I now feel safe.

And so here I am now, spending the rest of my days with my books. Here in my own little world, writing this review the day before my actual birthday. At 3:39 AM, making a bit of money instead of overthinking, so I too, just like her, can live alone in a cabin in the woods. Alone but not mental.

Above was an excerpt from "Death in her Hands" , another unsettling novel by my now favorite author Ottessa Moshfegh. I just have a thing for isolated, unlikeable, and unhinged woman protagonists for obvious reasons. The diabolika in me can totally relate.

This Magda character lives inside Vesta's head. Vesta is an isolated and mentally unstable old lady who lives in the woods with her dog. The whole story revolves around what's going on inside her mind and all these elaborate details she made up about Magda's murder. So if you're expecting a murder mystery or lovey dovey character story, just stick with ya books dear. Ottessa never disappoints the misanthropic, dark energy in me.

I felt I needed to hide a little. My mind needed a smaller world to roam.

I can hear Vesta's voice as I read the book. She is like the old version of me. I like the way she writes her things-to-do list. I like how her day's the same as yesterday. I like how she doesn't mind eating cold bagels for breakfast or dinner. I like the way she uses "mindspace". I like the way she calls fat people fat. She eats simply, lives simply. And loves her dog - her only companion. Again, just like the author's infamous book "My Year of Rest and Relaxation", the protagonist has everything in life (cabin, radio, bagels, a boat, a dog, etc.) and yet she still feels empty. And utterly bored.

This note about Magda's death came to her life and that somehow made her days a bit more interesting. Or at least, only in her mind.

One makes mistakes when there is confusion between having a future at all and having the future one wants.

She reminisces her controlling husband many times in the book. She admits that she could have lived a more fulfilled life with a more loving and loyal partner but instead she chose the life of comfort, certainty and convenience.

It's funny because I realized early on that nothing's ever gonna happen, and I'm just being taken in a joy ride inside Vesta's mind. Her paranoia and obsession with Magda's murder consumed me. I'm shocked enough. It was like being inside Vesta's mind. It was like being Me. Even the emptiest of my days became as interesting as Vesta's or Magda's lol. This book made me laugh and made me utter WTF. What's this book all about? Is this about Magda, Vesta or some deep reflection on death and mortality Ottessa's way? It is up to you to judge. I wasn't expecting a proper ending I deserve, the whole strangeness of it was enough to fill my heart. I enjoyed every sentence and highlighted them if I feel like I'm the one actually saying it. I've got quotes here that reminded me of Sylvia Plath's. So if you are reading any of Ottessa's book, you should always read with an open mind. Because it's not the ending, it's the journey. The whole story is strange and overall pointless but this is why I'm attracted to this book. And I want more from this author.


Congrats!!! 🥳 🎶 💯

Not sure if it is a belated one though, my old brain is a bit confused reading your post and seeing the publishing time. That said, today or belated: Wish you all the wisdom and peace of mind that comes with becoming more experienced that comes with the biological activity of ageing 😉 From forty onwards, life becomes better. Actually, from fifty onwards, life becomes even better. Something to look forward to 😉

Somehow you got my interest to read something from the hands of Ottessa. Books with not set endings, and perhaps a bit out of the norm, I very much like. And from what you tell us, Ottessa's work may fit that bill.

NJOY the remainder of Today 😉

From forty onwards, life becomes better. Actually, from fifty onwards, life becomes even better. Something to look forward to 😉

Gosh I am looking forward to getting better LOL.

Okay let me know what y'think of the book!

10 years to look forward to the same! a wonderful feeling that is. done the whole journey myself already 😎

Happy birthday. Here's to another dance around the sun. The book sounds interesting indeed.

Thank you @eturnerx !

Happy birthday @diabolika!
I'm pretty sure you have a few years of people noticing you left to go:)

lol thanks @tarotbyfergus !

Happy Birthday!! When I found your tweet I was interested in the book. Now I am even more interested 😁 I'll try to find the e-book version if I can.

Thanks @macchiata! Let me know what you think of the book. :)

I gotta to say, I feel your connection with the author, quite strong by the way, you relate her books to yourself, it's actually a lovely one to see.

I really like the whole overview of the story about the death of magda, and vesta, although don't full understand, but am sure it's a fine read, it seem to have horror setting, but without the scares. Thanks for sharing

I gotta to say, I feel your connection with the author, quite strong by the way, you relate her books to yourself, it's actually a lovely one to see.

Yes I recommend you read it too. I think Ottessa's book is an acquired taste lol.