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Thirty-Eight Days of Rain

thirty-eight days of rain by eva asprakis cover

A NetGalley Book of the Month (March 2024)​

An IndieReader Approved and Best Reviewed Book (March 2024)​

A Reedsy Discovery Featured Recommendation (March 2024)

'An engrossing and fascinating exploration of the complexity of identity and belonging'
Polis Loizou, author of A Good Year

'A sad but uplifting novel about a young couple's immigration struggles and love for their cultural heritage . . . Eva Asprakis is a gifted writer, and Thirty-Eight Days of Rain deserve attention for its focus on the problems of young-adult émigrés'
Alicia Rudnicki for IndieReader

"What matters more, your place as a daughter or as a mother?"

Androulla is twenty-four and newly married when she learns that she is infertile. In a bid for Cypriot citizenship she is undergoing adoption by her stepfather, and wondering if she will have to adopt a child one day herself.

As this reality sets in, Androulla's marriage unravels. Between migration departments and doctor's appointments, she must question what it means to be from somewhere, what it means to be a woman and, when an impossible choice presents itself, which of these things means the most to her.

thirty-eight days of rain playlist on spotify

the Thirty-Eight Days of Rain Playlist is on spotify

Book Club Questions

1) At the beginning of the book, Androulla says that she has never wanted to have children. How does being diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) change her mindset?

2) As she adjusts to her infertility and undergoes adoption by her stepfather, Androulla plays the roles of both adult and child. Which do you feel she is more of, and why?

3) Androulla is the daughter of a British father, a Greek mother, and a Cypriot stepfather. How do you think her relationships with her parents affect her feelings towards each country, or vice versa?

4) Because her mother is Greek, Androulla has the option of securing European citizenship for herself and Giannis, but chooses to prioritise her Cypriot passport. How fair do you think this decision is?

5) Much of Androulla's time is spent in isolation. What toll does this take on her?

6) Androulla reflects at length on her absent father, her deceased first love, her high testosterone, and her low self-esteem. Which of these things, if any, do you think has most shaped her relationship to sex?

7) Throughout the book, Androulla struggles with acne, anorexia, and PCOS. How do you think her body image impacts her relationships with those around her?

8) What is the significance of Androulla's 'sister', 'husband', and adoptive father all being unrelated to her officially?

9) When Androulla is convinced that sex will never result in a child for her, she starts to act as if it is meaningless. How much can you sympathise with this?

10) After marrying Kostas, Olympia suffered an ectopic pregnancy and could not risk conceiving again. How, if at all, might their having another child have changed Androulla's relationship with Kostas?

11) The lack of support offered to Androulla with her PCOS diagnosis has a profound effect on her. Do you think she would have coped better if she had been diagnosed earlier?

12) When they are struggling to choose between staying in Cyprus and having their child, Giannis asks Androulla what matters more, her place as a daughter or as a mother. How would you answer on her behalf?

13) Initially, Androulla is desperate to prove that nurture has more bearing than nature. How, if at all, does her pregnancy impact her outlook?

14) The book ends with Androulla losing her baby and Giannis asking her to marry him for real. Where do you think they are now?

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