Friday, January 13, 2012

Nos Separations - David Foenkinos

Most French authors write with a humour and charm that is so typical of them and David Foenkinos is no exception.

"Nos Separations" presents the story of Alice and Fritz and their other relation(ship)s with secondary characters such as Fritz's friend Paul and his lover Virginie, Fritz and his wife Iris or Alice and her husband. The book is more about the two lovers' sad separations rather than their relationship; it is about the constant need to be with the one you love even though you hurt that person and he/she hurt you as well.

"Encore une fois, nous étions dans une ambiance mi-prune mi-pêche (chacun ses expressions), et j'ai pensé que je serais peut-être heureux de passer ces moments sans elle. Depuis des mois, nous vivions collés, dans l'autarcie de notre révélation amoureuse, alors cette première séparation serait sûrement bénéfique."

The writer gives us the chance to see a few of the decisive moments in Alice and Fritz's liaison: we learn how they fell in love, how they quarrelled and how Fritz cheated on Alice. It is with so much ease that Foenkinos presents his lovers' story that you might think their situation is not serious. He even mentions at the beginning of the novel that we might all be cliches. Still, with delicate humour the final separation takes place and we are left with the character's struggles to avoid any place they walked together in Paris and with ironic dictionary definitions in which he as well becomes one.

“Il y a des personnes formidables qu’on rencontre au mauvais moment, et des personnes qui sont formidables parce qu’on les rencontre au bon moment.”

The end is still optimistic. A boy and a girl - Alice's and Fritz's children from different relationships) meet in Pere Lachaise cemetery (read the wonderful book to discover why) and we may think the story can begin once more. maybe with a different, better ending this time :)

Read for: New Authors Challenge and European Reading Challenge (France)


Rose City Reader said...

Sounds like a good, but sad, read. Thanks for posting the review on the European Reading Challenge list.

Ally said...

It was rather sad. I am planning on reading two other books of his, I will let you know if they are more optimistic :)

Corri van de Stege said...

You read it in French? I am so impressed. I keep thinking I ought to read everything in the original language but it's just too demanding.

Ally said...

Whenever I can, I do read in French, after all, French was and still is my first love :)