Friday, 2 August 2019

Dolores by Lauren Aimee Curtis

Dolores by Lauren Aimee Curtis
Published in the UK by Weidenfeld And Nicholson on the 25th July 2019.

One of my 2019 New Release Challenge reads and a 2019 COYER Summer Hunt read

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

On a hot day in late June, a young girl kneels outside a convent, then falls on her face. When the nuns take her in, they name her Dolores.

Dolores adjusts to the rhythm of her new life - to the nuns with wild hairs curling from their chins, the soup chewed as if it were meat, the bells that ring throughout the day.

But in the dark, private theatre of her mind are memories - of love motels lit by neon red hearts, discos in abandoned hospitals and a boy called Angelo.

And inside her, a baby is growing. 

I'm so glad I decided to take a chance on reading Dolores by Lauren Aimee Curtis! I loved the perfectly measured prose which suits the short novella-length story. It felt as though every word was vital and Curtis manages to portray real depth of emotion and experience in a concise yet powerful way. We never really get to find out much about the enigmatic Dolores before she arrives at the convent, not even her real name. Flashbacks show us scenes from her adolescent life from which I could glean a rich portrait of this young woman, but thinking back over the book for this review, we weren't actually told very much. For me Dolores is a masterclass in 'show, don't tell'.

I loved the convent's serenity with its routines and its bells, especially when we are allowed glimpses of the contradictions such as eagerly gossiping nuns, spiteful novices and a predatory bishop. Through it all there is Dolores, strangely passive yet never weak, and the denouement of her story is genius. An unexpected resolution, I thought, but one which seemed inevitable once it had happened. Dolores is an amazing novella and I will be looking out keenly for more of Curtis' work in the future.

Etsy Find!
by Mollys Ridge in
Lancaster, Canada

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Books by Lauren Aimee Curtis / Novellas / Books from Australia


  1. Glad to hear you enjoyed this. It's not my kind of story but I am intrigued to find out what happened to her and her baby.

    1. It's somewhat different to my usual reads too and I loved how Dolores' story is told

  2. I really want to know what happened to her and her baby! Glad this was a good find that worked out well for you.

  3. A master of show don't tell? I think I need to read this one! And I think it is such an interesting story... to have a pregnant and newly integreated nun. I would love to see where this one goes.

    1. I think you would really enjoy reading Dolores! It's amazing for such a short read