The Margot Affair by Sanaë Lemoine

Firstly, if you’re hungry, proceed with caution reading The Margot Affair by Sanaë Lemoine. It’s not a book about food – it’s actually about a teenager named Margot, the product of a long affair – but I was quite distracted by whatever Margot et al were eating (from mussels in white wine and gratin dauphinois to cheeses, asparagus soup and pear clafoutis).

It’s difficult to say much about this story without spoilers but essentially, Margot is the child of Anouk, a stage actress who is successful in Paris; and Bertrand, a senior politician, who has ambitions to be president. Continue reading

A bunch of short reviews

I am painfully behind in my reviews – the longer they go unwritten, the less likely it is to happen. These reviews hardly do justice to some of the books I’ve read (sorry Magda) but at the very least provide me with a record. Continue reading

The Postman’s Fiancée by Denis Theriault

The Postman’s Fiancée by Denis Thériault is a story about infatuation, love, haiku, and identity.

Tania moves from Bavaria to Montreal to fine-tune her French and fall in love. Waitressing at a restaurant frequented by ‘regulars’, she meets Bilodo, a shy postman who writes haiku and who is passionate about calligraphy.

He came through the door every day at noon, impeccable in his postman’s uniform. He was tall, rather thin and not exactly handsome, but his gentle eyes and timid smile made Tania go weak inside. Continue reading

The Lover by Marguerite Duras

Marguerite Duras’s The Lover is the second book I’ve read in as many weeks that’s a memoir, thinly disguised as a novel (the other being by Lily Brett).

The story is set in Saigon in the 1930s, and describes the tumultuous affair between a relatively poor adolescent French girl and her wealthy, older Chinese lover. Interspersed between details of their clandestine meetings are descriptions of the unnamed narrator’s mother – headmistress of a girls’ high school and prone to bouts of depression, and her wayward brothers. Continue reading