I stared reading this in e-book format a while back and just wasn't in the mood for an introspective novel. Plus there are just some novels I need to read in actual book form and though I set it aside I knew this was a book that I would probably love at some point or another. So it proved. This is a very introspective novel, a 72 yr old woman, although once married long ago she has been divorced for a very long time. Her world is books, poetry and music, she loves her solitude and her city, Beruit. She has seen the best and the worst of this city, the civil war, shops closing and friends leaving. Her main occupation is translating a new novel once a year.
This is a book lovers novel, she thinks of things in literary terms, quotations and bits of poetry. Her musing are sprinkled through with all these bits and pieces of novels, authors and poets. She loves Seybold and Pessoa, Faulkner is a favorite of hers and so many authors are mentioned that I was gradually adding to my already huge to read list. But I loved this book, loved her character and the other three woman in the complex that she calls the three witches. A tiny sliver of a woman and a city changing fortunes. At the end of ones life what will be your biggest accomplishment? This is another thought with which she continuously wrestles. The biggest shocker in this wonderful, quiet novel is that the author is male.