How long does it take to forget the smell of someone who loved you? And when do you stop loving them? When Chloe's husband leaves her and their children for another woman, she is devastated. Unexpectedly, it's her usually distant father-in-law who comes to Chloe's aid, both with practical help and his personal wisdom on life and love.In this ...
How long does it take to forget the smell of someone who loved you? And when do you stop loving them? When Chloe's husband leaves her and their children for another woman, she is devastated. Unexpectedly, it's her usually distant father-in-law who comes to Chloe's aid, both with practical help and his personal wisdom on life and love.In this beautifully crafted novella, Anna Gavalda poignantly explores the fragility of human relationships.
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Publishers Weekly, 2005-03-14 Gavalda's slim second novel, published here in back-to-back English and French versions, tells a spare, dialogue-based tale of a young, abandoned wife. ChloE, mother of two, is in shock after her husband, Adrien, leaves her for another woman. In an improbable move, her laconic father-in-law, Pierre, rescues her, driving ChloE and her daughters to his country house, where they spend a few surprisingly therapeutic days together. While in the country, Pierre gives ChloE an extended account of an extramarital affair of his own. His dalliance was based on real love, and this, ironically, comforts ChloE. Gavalda's prose style is refreshingly elliptical, though often the reader longs for more than a scrap of exposition. At the book's best moments, mundane details mingle with ChloE's despair to create an even deeper sadness: while cooking dinner with Pierre, ChloE reflects, I cried, thinking occasionally about how the spaghetti was going to be inedible if I didn't add some oil. But Gavalda's prose can also lurch clumsily between triteness and sarcasm: Go to the ends of the earth, clamber over thickets, hedges, ditches, get a stuffy nose, cross old Marcel's courtyard, and watch Teletoons while eating strawberry-flavored marshmallows. Sometimes, life is wonderful.... Such awkward pathos weighs down Gavalda's airy tale. (Apr. 5) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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