Archive for the ‘France’ Category

THE WINTER GHOSTS by Kate Mosse

Mosse gives her beguiling novel an old fashioned gothic framework that suits this eerie story of ghostly love in an insular mountain village of France a decade after WWI. The story opens in 1933 as Frederick Watson visits an antiquarian bookseller in Toulouse. “He walked like a man recently returned to the world. Every step was careful, deliberate. Every step to be relished.” Well-dressed and confident, Watson knows his appearance contrasts sharply with his last visit to Toulouse in 1928 at age 25. “He had been another man then, a tattered man, worn threadbare by grief.”

July 10, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: 2011 Favorites, Facing History, France, Mystery/Suspense, Psychological Suspense

LEAVING VAN GOGH by Carol Wallace

Vincent Van Gogh had lived only seventy days in the small community of Auvers-sur-Oise, Northwest of Paris, since arriving in early May. He had been released from an asylum in the South of France and come North to be nearer his brother Theo, who supported him financially. In an astonishing feat of creativity, he dashed off luminous canvases at the rate of one or more per day, until his darkness returned and he went out into a field and shot himself. Carol Wallace’s novel is an account of those seventy days, as told by the person who was the reason for Vincent’s choice of Auvers: Dr. Paul Gachet.

April 19, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Facing History, France

13, RUE THERESE by Elena Mauli Shapiro

In Paris-born Shapiro’s first novel, a young visiting American professor, Trevor Stratton, catches the attention of his prospective Parisian secretary, Josianne, not for his scholarship in 19th-century French literature, but for his poetry translations: “A translator, caught in the space between two tongues.”

In hopes that he is a little different (and after an appreciative look at his photograph), Josianne places a box with a red-checked cover in an empty file cabinet in his new office.

March 25, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, France, Unique Narrative

ENOUGH ABOUT LOVE by Herve Le Tellier

Thomas loves Louise, a lawyer. Louise is married to Romain, a scientist. Louise loves Thomas. Yves, a writer, loves Anna. Anna, a psychiatrist, loves Yves, a man she finds “unsettling.” Anna is married to Stan, an ophthalmologist. Thomas is Anna’s psychoanalyst. No, this isn’t an LSAT logic problem or a torrid soap opera. These are the characters that comprise Le Tellier’s urbane, au courant Paris comedy, ENOUGH ABOUT LOVE, a droll romp that is nevertheless intimate and complex within the playful pages.

March 4, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: 2011 Favorites, Contemporary, France, Humorous, Translated, World Lit

A PALACE IN THE OLD VILLAGE by Tahar Ben Jelloun

In A PALACE IN THE OLD VILLAGE Tahar Ben Jelloun tells the elegiac and moving story of a simple man from a small village in Morocco, who feels completely lost in the fast moving, modern world. Mohammed had to change “from one time to another, one life to another” when back in 1962, this young peasant was persuaded to leave his remote village in Morocco and join the immigrant labour force in France. Now forty years later, he is about to start his retirement and this new situation preoccupies and worries him deeply. From one moment to the next, it will end the years of daily routines which have made him feel safe, secure and needed. They have also protected him from reflecting on his life and its challenges : “Everything seemed difficult to him, complicated, and he knew he was not made for conflicts.”

February 26, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: France, Middle East, World Lit

THE PARIS WIFE by Paula McLain

Before Ernest Hemingway was ERNEST HEMINGWAY – one of the most revered, studied, analyzed, and parodied authors of American literature – he was a young man with a burning talent, staking his claim to a bright future.

And part of this future included Hadley Richardson, his first wife, a woman who was his equal in many ways – a risk-taker, adventurer, and copious drinker. Paula McLain – in an addictive and mesmerizing debut book – breathes life into their life together in Paris in the 1920s, when everything was just starting to come together.

February 25, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Debut Novel, Facing History, France