Saturday, 27 September 2014

GoodRead - The Misunderstanding

I don't read adult often. But am feeling a need to read more grown-up books. So, a fortnight ago, I was out with my other half and went into a bookshop. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw this cover and it was pretty. I took a photo of it and had to leave the shop. A week later, I donated some books to my local library and, on impulse, went to look for this book and a Joanne Harris book. Joanne Harris wasn't there but this was. It was only after I took it out did I read what this book was about.

So much for never judging a book by its cover.

Set after the First World War, Yves is a troubled man. From old money but fallen on hard times, he goes on holiday to Hendaye. While there, he meets an old friend and his wife, Denise. There's a spark between them and their affair begins.

But summer turns to autumn and they both return to Paris. Denise becomes driven by desire and suspension and Yves doesn't know how to express his love to her and is begin to feel suffocated by her love, while struggling with money issues. He asks Denise to leave him be to figure it all out.

This is where the misunderstanding takes place, and the events that follow could destroy their love...

To find out that this was Irene Nemirovsky's debut novel and she wrote this when she was 21 is a huge shock as, while only 164 pages long, this book was well-established in my opinion.

I found this book fascinating as it showed how different the culture between France at the time this book was written and modern day has changed and how a affair can start and dissolve, like this book did.

My only fault is the main characters. While I do like both Yves and Denise, I found as the book goes on, I got frustrated with them. With Denise, I found her slowly becoming too much so I understood why Yves felt suffocated. However, I got annoyed with Yves because he wouldn't speak to her. I understood his logic - it's very much male pride - but there were times I wanted to shake him because of it.

But I enjoyed it the more because of this. Irene made it more interesting because it wasn't a "pretty" affair - it started nice and romantic but it turned, and I liked how Irene wrote and I liked how the translation never felt jarring, which is something I usually have when I read translation.

But I enjoyed myself reading this and I can't wait to read more of Irene Nemirovsky!

No comments:

Post a Comment