The last instalment in a trilogy on the lives of women, motherhood and profound guilt.
Nine-year-old Eliška, the main character in the novel Reconstruction, the final part of Viktorie Hanišová’s loose trilogy, spends her childhood in a dark villa with her reclusive aunt Leonie. Eliška’s trauma is almost unimaginable: her mother murdered her younger brother before committing suicide, and both bodies were discovered by the surviving daughter. Eliška knows nothing about the background to the tragedy or about her father, and when she reaches adulthood she decides to look for answers.
Viktorie Hanišova’s third novel about a complicated motherhood and a dark past unfolds around the theme of the lure of darkness and the abyss, the complex figure of the mother/murderer and the classic motif of guilt.
“We follow Eliška’s journey into adulthood, when the introverted child becomes an architecture student who sets about reconstructing these tragic events. She energetically and obsessively begins to untangle the web of relationships surrounding the life of her mother with a single objective: to discover what led to the family tragedy.”
“Reconstruction does exactly what it says in the title. The main character […] searches in different settings, looking for connections – but always drawing a blank, finding only more questions. She uses psychology and philosophy, looks for parallels in history, searches through her own dreams and on the internet, explores conspiracy theories; interviews criminologists, relatives, her father…”
About the author:
Viktorie Hanišová (1980) is from Prague and graduated in English and German studies at Charles University. She translates and teaches foreign languages. She made her debut as a writer in 2015 with the well-received novel Anežka (Agnes) about the dysfunctional relationship between a mother and her adopted daughter, as well as hidden racism and stereotypes. This was followed in 2018 by the novel Houbařka (The Mushroom Picker) about childhood trauma and domestic violence. The novel Rekonstrukce (Reconstruction, 2019) completes the loose trilogy of novels connected by the theme of motherhood. Viktorie Hanišová’s books have been translated into five languages including German and Spanish.