Book Review: Indelicacy by Amina Cain

Indelicacy: A Novel: Cain, Amina: 9780374148379: Amazon.com: Books

Title: Indelicacy

Author: Amina Cain

Genre: Literary Fiction

Number of Pages: 176

Rating: B

Recommended?: Yes


I didn’t exactly like Vitoria, the protagonist of Indelicacy, but I was a little bit fascinated by her. With a certain ambiguity in regards to it’s setting, Indelicacy is an odd mood piece about a woman who marries a wealthy man in a time where women have few rights.

She starts out working as a cleaning lady in an art museum and she’s obsessed with writing about the artwork she sees, both the aesthetic quality and the deeper meanings behind the paintings. She ends up marrying a man who denies her nothing in terms of material wealth but doesn’t take her passions seriously, and she becomes oddly fixated on the cleaning lady who ends up working for her.

I related to how passionate Vitoria was about her writing, and how she saw everything through the filter of that passion. Rather than being plot-driven, Indelicacy is a subdued character study of a woman who is deeply flawed and more than a little manipulative.

Vitoria starts out as a relatively poor woman who has to work for everything she has, but after she gets married she begins to think the price she has paid for complete comfort and leisure is too high. I’ve never read anything like this before and I really liked the writing, which was minimalistic in ways but also incredibly rich. I felt like it did a great job getting into a unusual character’s head.

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