Amalia is a housewife on the verge of collapse. Her husband spends too much of his time shouting at his teenage daughter from a previous marriage. The daughter is obsessed with making make-up tutorials and neglects her schoolwork. Their youngest has far too much energy and Amelia is drawing herself into burn-out by trying to contain it all.
One day it happens. She collapses at work and a visit to her doctor tells her that she simply has to take things easy. But how does a woman who is trying to do everything actually do nothing?
I found Amalia filed away under women’s fiction at NetGalley, and though the description is accurate it is also somewhat reductionist. Amalia is wonderful women’s fiction, but it is a great deal more besides. There is a sense in the book that it is not told exactly in the here and now. A crop epidemic threatens the fields of France, and business is on the edge of economic collapse because of it. The last whale has died and the icecaps are completely melted. New technologies abound and there is a growing chasm between the staff and the management at both Amalia and her husband’s workplaces.
There is a sense in Amalia that it is not only Amalia that is on the edge of collapse but everything around her too, it’s just that she is more aware of the fact, and as she begins to come to terms with her own shortcomings and the things she needs to fix, we sense that there may be hope for the world around her.
The book may not be set in the exact here and now, but it is close enough that we can recognise the mistakes being made and see the echo of them in the world around us. We can see Amalia in ourselves, whether the reader is a man or a woman makes little difference here, and we see that the fixes she makes for herself would probably be wise to take on ourselves.
Amalia is a fine story. A quick, uplifting tale that will certainly bring a smile to any reader’s face. I am very pleased that Europe Comics released this on NetGalley, and allowed me the pleasure of reading it.