Book Review | The whole of Hubara’s debut novel bites heavily into a difficult mother-daughter relationship

The whole of Hubaran Bechi deals with racism, mental health problems and consent, but no topic is explained in the outbreak.


Whole Hubara: Bechi. Big Dipper. 208 s.

Brown Girls Media Creator Koko Hubara brought the concept to the Finnish cultural debate cultural ownership.

Hubara aroused indignant reactions by criticizing her blog Laura Lindstedtin Finlandia Award-winning work Oneiron and especially one of its characters, an American Jewish female artist suffering from an eating disorder.

In 2017, Hubara published an acclaimed collection of essays Brown girls, which said, among other things, that “Finland is divided into time before and after Koko Hubara”.

Hubara’s first novel about its second main character, Yemeni Jew and Shoshana Ayin, who moved to Finland, says exactly the same thing in the press. She is a terrific artist figure and a woman with an eating disorder.

There are many such connections to be found in Hubara’s novel, but its fictional content is in itself more interesting.

Bechi on a work that rejects sentimentality about a difficult mother-daughter relationship in a world dominated by “men who look like toast”. The novel also deals with themes of transcendence, parental mental health problems, sexuality, and consent, but no subject is explained in the breakthrough.

Beneath the beautifully flowing prose text and sensual linguistic images are angry, cleansing vortices.

“Is there an easier solution than to blame their own parents for all the mistakes they have made themselves.”

The mother-daughter relationship is a classic theme in literature. Here, too, it is described as tearing: longing for it and striving for freedom.

Bechi is a Helsinki woman in her thirties who is finishing her degree. Her mother has published an autofictional novel, “Shoshana Ayin, that shook cultural circles in the 1990s. visited here ”(ref Anja Kaurasen novel gives rise to its small alternative reality).

The daughter does not want to read her mother’s work. However, it runs alongside Bech’s story in the novel as a perspective that suggests that the stories of either mother or daughter should not be fully trusted. The time span of Bech’s story is one day — the day she reveals to her mother that she is pregnant.

“Of the bad alternatives, I chose maternal rage rather than maternal love, breathing grunt rather than deadly kindness. Because the latter was a lie, death. ”

Bechi sees through the coping mechanisms his mother has carefully built in a ruthless and painful way. Cleaning madness and bulimia are part of the “system,” the pursuit of maternal purity and the management of chaos. The mother is also trying hard to be a European silk wrapped in a silk scarf, not “some kind of Arab” or “mamu”.

The mother does not tell Bech about the traumas of her past, and that is why there is a gap between them.

Bechi, on the other hand, is not quite sure who the child’s father is. There are two options, and both men have “selfish eyes”. A depressing and yet creepily mundane sex scene is a necessary description of the gray areas of consent.

Dealing with racism is reminiscent Umayya Abu-Hannan novels stitch humor. For example, there is a cafe waitress who can’t stop speaking English to non-white Finnish women. However, external reproduction does not define the lives of the protagonists.

As often in the novels examining the relationship between mother and daughter in this work, too, the relationship with the wounds has its origins generations ago. The beginning of reconciliation lies in love and mercy, in the understanding that mothers are doomed to failure.

Despite their big topics Bechi is very tightly sanded. I even missed deepening the themes and heavily tying the characters ’motives and powerful affect together.

I also wondered about the publisher’s solution to print about half of the book, Shoshana’s novel sections, in italics. At least my own eyes were in trouble.

But as a whole Bechi is a powerful debut novel and Koko Hubara is a welcome addition to the field of domestic fiction.

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