Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Marie C.'s Review: French Leave, by Anna Gavalda

French Leave, by Anna Gavalda. Published 2011.

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.  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.