‘Someone I Loved’ by Anna Gavalda

It’s just a wisp of a book but an odd wisp at that.

Someone I Loved by French author, Anna Gavalda, is the story of Chloé, whose husband suddenly leaves her and their two daughters for another woman. Unexpectedly, her usually cold and distant father-in-law, Pierre, comes to her aid, sharing what he has learned about life and love.

Interestingly, the book is subtitled ‘A Novel’. Hmmm – that made me wonder. Did the publishers add that because at just short of 160 pages, it’s straying into ‘novella’ territory – what are the official guidelines, anyway? Or did they add ‘A Novel’ because everyone in Gavalda’s home country knows all about her private life and assumes that she has written all about herself. I couldn’t help myself – took a quick peek at Google. Seems my thoughts were not far off the mark. The book was written after Gavalda’s marriage failed and the publication of Someone I Loved in 2002 was followed by the 600 page doorstop, Hunting and Gathering in 2004 – take that, anyone who mentioned ‘lightweight’! Continue reading

‘Delicacy’ by David Foenkinos

Wow. I just loved this book from the very first page.

Delicacy by David Foenkinos took France by storm when it was published in 2009 and has since been made into a film (starring French darling, Audrey Tautou).

Delicacy is an unlikely love story. It begins with François, approaching a beautiful stranger (Natalie) on the street. He asks her out for coffee. She agrees and so begins their deep and blissful romance.

“Why had he stopped her? It had mostly to do with the way she walked. He’d sensed something new, almost childlike, like a rhapsody of kneecaps.”

But don’t get too comfortable – François is knocked over by a car and killed while out on a Sunday morning jog (that’s not a spoiler – it happens early in the book). Continue reading