Thursday, November 3, 2011

REVIEW: French Leave, by Anna Gavalda

French Leave, by Anna Gavalda. Published 2011 by Europa Editions. Literary Fiction. Translation.

French Leave is the story of a family of siblings. Garance, Simon, and Lola sneak off from a wedding in France to visit their brother Vincent, who works as a tour guide at a castle near the wedding site. Leaving behind Simon's high-maintenance wife Carine, the four of them talk over their memories and their lives and just generally enjoy themselves. Anna Gavalda's prose, via Alison Anderson's translation, is light and sweet. Garance narrates; she's sarcastic and tart but likeable and fun. Gavalda does a beautiful job showing the love and affection between all the family members.

It's hard to know what else to say about a book as simple in its premise and as short as French Leave. It's the perfect summer read, one of those books that just radiates sunshine. Now, maybe French Leave will bring back some of the lazy days of summer to your chilly fall. I've had another book of Gavalda's, Hunting and Gathering (not a Europa title, alas) sitting on my bookshelves for almost two years and reading French Leave makes me want to get to it sooner rather than later.

Pick this up and you'll breeze right through it- and you'll love every minute.

Rating: BEACH

FTC Disclosure: I did not receive this book for review.

8 comments:

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

This does sound rather good; glad u got the chance to enjoy it.

So happy to have internet access again:) Hope all is well.

reviewsbylola said...

I've had my eye on this one so I am glad to read your review!

Zibilee said...

Sounds like this is a lovely read to power through on a cold and blustery day, and I am so glad that you enjoyed it. Don't you love it when a book is so good it makes you want to read all the author's backlist? Great review today, Marie. Succinct but very enticing!

Vasilly said...

I'm pretty sure that I have a copy of this book lying around somewhere. After reading your review, I definitely want to find it now.

Kathleen said...

Sounds like a good read for the airplane too!

Booksnyc said...

I have Hunting and Gathering on my shelf too - a friend highly recommended it.

French Leave sounds like a fun read.

Biblibio said...

I don't know, I was really disappointed by French Leave. When I started reading it in the bookstore, it seemed perfect - quick, to the point and about sibling relationships - how often do you come across those in books? But I didn't click with the characters and I felt like the book was too scattered to really hit home. Maybe if it had been a novel, but I kept feeling like the lovely novella format was wasted on such an unfocused book...

Esme said...

Thank you for this-I am going to seek it out.