Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Book Review: Echappée Belle by Anna Gavalda


This tiny book is a joy to read.  English title: French Leave. , Norvewian: Ein Vakker Dag. Written by the author of my all-time favorite novel: Ensemble c'est tout. (English: Hunting and Gathering / Norwegian: Saman er ein mindre aleine.  

As mentioned, Echappée Belle is very small book, only about 126 pages, but it's filled with emotion, relationships and accurate descriptions of people and their environment.  I can hear the characters talking, I'm there with them. I love Gavalda's way of make feel like I'm part of the whole thing!

The story is simple: Three grown-up siblings, Garence, Simon and Lola, all invited to a cousin's wedding, decide to leave before the ceremony even starts.  They just hit the road, to go and find the fourth sibling, their little brother Vincent.   They sort of live their last 24 hours of childhood, talking, listening to music, remembering, playing, while forgetting about divorce, wife, children, work, and all the different difficulties of their everyday life. The French countryside, the French way of being, acting, talking, all this is very much part of the reading experience.  

It doesn't matter if I maybe don't agree with their actions, (poor wife left behind, without being asked...), because this is all about this last window of childhood that the three of them (and eventually the forth one too) steals...
A joy to read.

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