Wednesday, March 9, 2011
REVIEW: Enough About Love, by Hervé le Tellier
Enough About Love is a frothy French novel about a series of interlocking love stories, set in contemporary Paris among an intellectual clique of writers, artists, psychoanalysts and academics. It's light and fun and sweet, even if some of the romances veer towards the bittersweet in the end.
The narrative alternates between the characters; Thomas, the psychotherapist, is in love with Louise, a chic attorney married to an academic. Anna is a doctor and Thomas's patient; she's in love with Yves and cheating on her husband Stan. And they have children and complications, and some relationships work out better than others.
The fun of Enough About Love is following these characters and their adventures- their passions, their heartbreaks and their quiet moments, too. They're not all sympathetic; I found Anna to be shallow and vain, an emotionally distant object of affection for both her husband and her lover. Louise, on the other hand, I found delightful, and her romance with Thomas was tender and sweet. It's the two women who really drive the book; the men seem to merely trail behind them.
Enough About Love is a great example of one of my favorite unofficial literary genres- the beach book for the reader of literary fiction. The book has about it a very European, very French feel; Paris and rituals of French life soak through every aspect of the book. I can't imagine it taking place in any other city and there were times when I could almost see the dresses as I read about one of Anna's shopping trips and feel the warmth coming off a cup of cocoa. Read it if you want a love story as buttery and flaky as a croissant and as rich as that cocoa.
FTC Disclosure: I did not receive this book for review.