The Last Goddess By Kateřina Tučková
Book/Novel Author: Kateřina Tučková
Book/Novel Title: The Last Goddess
A woman delves into science and superstition, fear and persecution, and the hope and courage of belief in an award-winning and internationally bestselling novel by Kateřina Tučková.Last in a centuries-old lineage of healing women, Dora Idesová was raised by her aunt Surmena in the White Carpathians. Resistant to superstition, Dora grew up hearing stories of the “goddesses” who were said to conjure love and curses and, through divine connection, cure the spirit and the body. Now an academic, Dora is researching the tales that for generations spellbound the hillside where she grew up. As the mysteries become truths, they reveal a stunning discovery that reaches back from the witch trials of the seventeenth century through Nazi-occupied Germany. Embarking on an emotional journey, Dora is about to find out how deeply and fatefully she is entwined with secret tradition.Beautifully weaving together fact, folklore, and fiction, Kateřina Tučková draws on the stories of her ancestors to explore the extraordinary history of goddesses who walked the earth.
I sincerely disliked this book. It felt a little like a foreign film with a nebulous, unhappy ending. The writing, or possibly translation, felt a bit forced, and the development used correspondence that slogged along. There was a lack of dimension in the characters, and the details provided were oftentimes more grotesque than helpful. I kept hoping it would get better, and yet it seemed to get worse. The research and historical context were fascinating, and yet it was two separate looms as opposed to a masterful tapestry.
I tried but I could only get a third of the way through this book. Once I realized I wasn’t enjoying it any more I gave up.
I really, really struggled to finish this book. It did not draw me in like I was expecting. There were a lot of names to remember and keep track of, and I honestly could not keep track of them all. The book jumped around a lot too and the transitions were not smooth. There were also some strange things that happened in the book that seemed pretty significant, but went unexplained. The description of the book kind of reminded me of The Historian and I was hoping for something as intriguing as that, but I was disappointed.
I enjoyed everything about this book, but found the ending quite hurried and a bit flat – hence 4 out of 5 stars.I’m not in a hurry to read more by this author, despite her being very talented, it’s just my personal opinion.
I found this novel extremely interesting to listen to. The audiobook was the right way to go for most of this as I am not someone familiar with the language and surely would have struggled even to understand and read its English counterparts. This novel is depressing and the fate of many of these women were so terrible and cruel that it was hard to listen to at times. The ending shocked me a bit and was somewhat difficult to understand and I’m not sure if that’s an issue on authors part or the translators. It’s just that the last chapter there were some vague sentences and I felt like I should have had a eureka moment and I didn’t- not totally anyway. It took me a while and some thinking to put it together.My only few complaints really was that Dora was an extremely boring character to read from and while she was the only option that made sense, she had very little personality except being a rude skeptic to the traditions and cultures she grew up in. I constantly kept thinking that even if you don’t believe it, you intend to make a living off this information the least you can do is have to respect and I didn’t feel like Dora had any. She’d tell these women straight to their faces how their beliefs and superstitions were ‘ridiculous’ and ‘nonsense’ and ‘you can’t really believe all that’ and in this way as an academic I felt that her character fell extremely short especially seeing as her work was not based on whether or not magic was real. She was so against so much of her family and cultures work that I genuinely couldn’t understand why she kept pursuing.Another issue I had was Dora’s sexuality. I don’t want to say it was poorly done but I just felt like it didn’t much have a place for majority of the novel. Like it was put there but I felt like the story could have done without it and with her being 40 years old and so hell bent on being modern and progressive and thinking she’s better than those who have the beliefs they have, her inability to even on a personal level accept her sexuality for what it is was both annoying and didn’t fit in anywhere because this ain’t what we are here for.All that being said I very much intend to read more books by this author in the future.