Vita Nostra Q1: Coming of age
I read this book as a story of Sasha transitioning from the predictable, controlled world of childhood to the complex and incomprehensible adult world. Is this a reading that others got? Is Sasha's transformation a believable one (in terms of how she changes, not necessarily the magic)? Do you think that the Institute's tasks (memorisation of pages of gibberish and visualising impossible geometry) are good analogies navigating adulthood? What about the idea that "adults" (the school academic staff) aren't human? Are children and adults really that different?
And why are coming-of-age stories so popular and common? Is this a feature of genre fiction, and something that keeps it from being better literature?