Saturday, April 14, 2012

Book Review: Delicacy by David Foenkinos

PG-13, 2 stars

I won this book in a giveaway.  It's a French novel originally published under the title La délicatesse and translated into the English by Bruce Benderson.

I'm not sure if it's me, or that I'm not French, or not reading it in French, but I just didn't get the book.  The story is about Natalie.  She meets Franḉois, they fall in love, and they get married.  Eight years later he gets killed while out running.  I'm not spoiling anything.  This happens very early in the story.  It takes Natalie a while to get back to her old lifestyle.  That includes going to work.  Her boss is anxious to get her back because he has a humongous crush on her, even though he's married.  It's a major reason why he hired her.  There's also another guy at the office.  A guy who thinks he doesn't  have a chance.

I never related to the characters.  They felt so distant.  We only got to skim the surface of each one.  Along with that is the story, itself.  It didn't feel like we were going deep into the story.  Another skim over the surface.

The chapters were really short.  That didn't bother me.  What did bother me was interspersed were snippets of what I felt were unimportant things, like the lyrics to the song Natalie and her date listened to on the radio or a paragraph on the invention of the wall-to-wall carpet simply because in the last chapter Natalie wondered who could have invented it.  Does this move the story along?  NO!  It's just so weird.  This book was nominated for all five major French literary prizes and was turned into a movie.  I don't get it.

So, anyway...

I rated this book PG-13.  It doesn't have anything bad in it, it's just not a story suitable for the younger audience.  I read it for pure pleasure as I won it in a giveaway.

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