Our Bookseller says:
A slow-burning episodic novel about Blanca, a corrosively horny teenage ghost in love with George Sand. Nell Stevens’ prose is decadent, words that you want to eat with a spoon and savor. Blanca is a narrator unlike any you’ve probably read before; she’s been dead since 1473, for one, which might not be super relatable — but she’s also in love with a hot butch writer who doesn’t know she exists, which IS pretty relatable. Reading Blanca’s descent into sapphic love is equal parts heady and intoxicating, darkly funny and deeply sad. Sit with this one for a few days; BRIEFLY, A DELICIOUS LIFE is not a novel to rush through.
In 1473, fourteen-year-old Blanca dies in a hilltop monastery in Mallorca. Nearly four hundred years later, when George Sand, her two children, and her lover Frederic Chopin arrive in the village, Blanca is still there: a spirited, funny, righteous ghost, she’s been hanging around the monastery since her accidental death, spying on the monks and the townspeople and keeping track of her descendants.
Blanca is enchanted the moment she sees George, and the magical novel unfolds as a story of deeply felt, unrequited longing—the impossible love of a teenage ghost for a woman who can’t see her and doesn’t know she exists. As George and Chopin, who wear their unconventionality, in George’s case, literally on their sleeves, find themselves in deepening trouble with the provincial, 19th-century villagers, Blanca watches helplessly and reflects on the circumstances of her own death (which involves an ill-advised love affair with a monk-in-training).
Charming, original, and emotionally moving, this is a surprisingly touching story about romantic fixation and a powerful meditation on creativity.