In the Palm – Elna Holst

“I am drunk and about to chop my hand off.” How is that for an opening sentence? The drunk and soon-to-be one-handed person is a woman but that’s about all either the reader or herself knows at first. She’s on a desert island but she has no idea how she got there nor, for that matter, who she is. After some time – time is a very abstract concept when you’re all alone on a desert island –, she’ll realise the island is not as deserted as she thought.

In the Palm is the most bizarre book I’ve read in a long time, maybe ever. It’s also funny and unexpectedly hot. The word that kept repeating in my mind as I was reading is “brilliant”. Everything in this novella is bloody brilliant. And kind of disturbing.

I felt as lost and disoriented as the main character for almost the whole time. Ms No Name (she’s pretty sure she’s a doctor) is smart and scared and talks to herself in a delightfully self-deprecating manner. The situation she finds herself in is terrifying yet I laughed a lot. And I have no idea how the author managed to convey so much sexiness despite all the squeamish-y stuff.

I mean, seriously, here you are, with two stranded characters who don’t really speak the same language, one of whom has probably not spoken at all in a terribly long time, the other has been forced to cut off her own hand in dreadful conditions, there’s sand and rain and mud and yet – yet! – there’s chemistry. A whole lot. Inadvertent chemistry at first then very purposeful and damn is it hot on this island!

I’m still stunned. This novella is probably not for everyone but it’s fabulous.

5-stars

In the Palm @ NineStar Press

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s