I finished reading Milena Busquets’s This Too Shall Pass in a single sitting. The story begins at Blanca’s mother’s funeral. Blanca is a forty-year-old woman with two ex-husbands and two sons, and her mother’s death has left her terribly unhinged. Without being able to get past the tragedy even after a month, Blanca decides to go to her family’s ancestral home in Cadaqués with people who care for her. And that group consists of her best friends, their kids and partners, her kids, kid’s babysitter, two ex-husbands and her married lover! I found it unusual, but then again Blanca is not an ordinary woman!
Although Blanca is forty, it is evident that she is a child trapped in an adult’s body – she is self-absorbing and irresponsible. Being a dashing beauty, she does not lack men in her life. But it turns out Blanca only ever truly loved her mother. So it is no wonder she’d feel lost, even among those who love her. Will Blanca be able to fill the void in her life created by her mother’s absence? That is what This Too Shall Pass looks into.
There is a lot of crass language in the first few chapters of This Too Shall Pass. I did not mind it because I felt it speaks for the intensity of Blanca’s feelings and the passion that surrounds her. Thankfully, right when it was beginning to grow old, it stopped! Other than that, I found Milena Busquets’s prose to be mediocre, the epilogue being the best part of writing for me.
When it came to the plot, I had mixed feelings. I empathized with Blanca. I am very close to my mother, and can not imagine life without her. However, there were times I really wanted to shake Blanca and ask her to get ahold of herself, for I do not believe grief can be overcome by drugs, alcohol, or casual sex. Blanca’s behavior even reminded me of self-destructive Rachel in The Girl on the Train!