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Elena Knows

Elena Knows by Claudia Pineiro, and Frances Riddle

As seen:

  • International Booker Prize Shortlist 2022

By Claudia Pineiro, and and, Frances Riddle

avg rating

3 reviews

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In a single day, a journey across Buenos Aires reveals a daughter to her mother, a mother to herself, and the oppressive weight of received ideas to women connected by a fleeting encounter, twenty years before.


01 Jul 2022


An intriguing weaving story that takes you on a journey through Buenos Aires. Well written with a believable voice, this is not a crime story as anticipated but more a family drama. It feels particularly poignant given the recent change in US abortion law. The book can be seen as an exploration of care-giving, from a maternal perspective but also touches upon when the caring roles are flipped between parent and child. Thought provoking and unconventional.

20 Jun 2022


A well structured and slowly developing story. The 3rd (final) part of the book is really powerful, unravelling the truth leading to Rita’s death. The book covers complicated relationships, abortions, marital rape, suicide, caregiving and religion, all in 145 pages. I started the book thinking it would be a murder mystery, but the story was a lot more than that, highlighting important issues. It was sad, moving and unexpected. Really enjoyed it, and glad it wasn’t just another murder mystery, but instead something with emotion and meaning!

12 Jun 2022


This twist on the crime genre illuminates many things during Elena's journey across Buenos Aires, from the weight of responsibility on carers to the many ways in which women's bodies are used, controlled and abused.

I really enjoyed the original perspective of Elena, who is literally bowed under the weight of Parkinsons and felt her struggle through the writing.

While this didn't particularly provoke an emotional reaction or connection from me, it's a really well written and interesting book and I was shocked and devastated at the end.

If you like reading crime but are looking for something a bit different or enjoy reading grounded fiction about contemporary womens politics, this one is for you!

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