Sworn Virgin- Elvira Dones

I read Sworn Virgin all the way back in February, but waited to post the review on twitter then forgot to cross-post it.

It was my feminist bookclub’s last ready pre-covid, so the last time we met in person, it seems so long ago now!


‘Sworn Virgin’ is about Hana/Mark. Hana follows an Albanian tradition where the girl in a family becomes a man. We see what brings her there, and what happens when she moves to America and becomes a woman again.


The tradition in this books is one I’ve never heard of before, and I found it interesting, but I also felt like the story didn’t get as deep as I wanted.

I would have liked more about what it was like to be a man after being a girl. All we really saw was that she adopted stereotypical male activities, we didn't even really see the difference with how people acted towards her

The bit where she was in America was interesting, and I felt those bits were more insightful, although again not as deep as I would have liked.

There was also a bit of confusion around why she made the decision to become a Sworn Virgin, although this may have been a way of showing how she justified things to herself and to others depending on who they were and her relationships with them.

In areas she spoke of having a diary, and I think I would have preferred it if the actual book was in a diary format.

I wasn’t in love with it, and I felt it promised more than it gave, but I still would say that it’s worth a read if you know nothing about Sworn Virgins but are interested


Originally tweeted by Lucybird (@lucybirdbooks) on 12/03/2020.

Buy it:

Paperback (£7.45)

Kindle (£6.99)

Other reviews:


Nose in a Book

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Filed under Contempory, Fiction review, Literary

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