Customer Reviews for

The Lovers

Average Rating 3
( 15 )
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  • Posted June 4, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    profound

    Well over two decades ago Yvonne and Peter married and honeymooned in Datca, Turkey. They lived in Burlington, Vermont and had twins, Matthew and Aurelia.

    With Peter recently buried, Yvonne decides to fly to Turkey to see if she can recapture the happiness she once shared with her late spouse before their alcoholic offspring Aurelia destroyed their relationship. As she returns to the peninsula where East meets West, she finds nothing the same. Even the clothing she wore to not stick out leaves her sticking out as the women wear jeans and t-shorts while she wears a long blouse and skirt. Still as Yvonne begins to enjoy the role of an American widow, some locals including her landlord Mr. Celik wonder why the single female tourist travels by herself. Lonely, she meets and befriends a Turkish boy about ten years old selling seashells. However, the natives do not appreciate an American adult acting friendly to a native child.

    Although the emotional poignancy and epitomes overwhelm the story line at times as there is a constant barrage, readers who appreciate a profound look at a person seeking to regain paradise lost by returning to a memory of an Eden will relish Vendela Vida's deep character study. The story line is purposely slow as the audience gets inside the head of the grieving widow who is filled with remorse, regret and guilt. Turkey serves as a terrific locale for the lead character as like the country is divided between to EU or not to EU; just like Yvonne is split between going home to lonely New England or remain on the peninsular seeking something she lost over the years.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 28, 2011

    Huge Disappointment

    The title doesn't represent the book at all, and the read was quite boring and extremely disappointing! I went out on a limb and chose a book by an author I'd never heard of and I very much regret it.

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  • Posted November 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Complex, fascinating and sympathetic

    The Lovers on the surface is the story of Yvonne and her return trip to Turkey. Seeing the place through her eyes, it is the account of a traveler who notices little details in the house and the town. Yvonne's observations on her landlord and his formerly estranged wife draw you in. As Yvonne befriends the couple on a yacht and a young Turkish boy on the beach, these friendships reveal more about Yvonne's past and the complexity of her own life.

    Yvonne's trip to Turkey leads her to an introspection into her marriage, her family, and her life. It's complex, fascinating and sympathetic.

    ISBN-10: 0060828390 - Hardcover
    Publisher: Ecco; 1 edition (June 22, 2010), 240 pages.
    Review copy provided by the publisher.

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  • Posted July 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Who are we, really?

    The Lovers, Vendela Vida
    The Lovers is a novel set in Turkey, where a newly widowed woman returns to the place of her honeymoon, almost three decades before. She's trying to escape her life in Vermont, and her new status as the pitied single woman among couples. As the mother of grown twins, she is conflicted with her memories of her marriage and her relationship with her children. She's discovering that as more time passes since her husband's death, the more she is forced to re-evaluate their relationship.

    After describing lush and green Vermont, the description of Turkey provides a stark contrast with dust, stones, and volcanic mountains. It's a none-too-subtle hint that with a new setting in place, things are going to change. But are they? This is where the novel makes a twist: nothing you think is going to happen actually happens. Once in place, she craves the company of others, so much so that she puts up with the imposition of others just to have human contact. Eventually, this leads her to a realization about her own personality and her own future.

    To be sure, this is not a romantic or happily-ever-after "chick" lit story. It is not Eat Love Pray, and there's no glamour, sudden insight, or handsome distraction. Rather, Yvonne, is very much alone and really has no basis to understand who she was, or is. If she's different, then it means her perceptions of her husband and children are altered too, and that's where her story becomes less typical and more interesting. In fact, the title "The Lovers" is misleading...it's not easy to determine who that would describe.

    It doesn't take long for her to realize she's been playing a role, but she has no other script to turn to...she doesn't quite know how to behave anymore. I don't want to reveal any spoilers, but as the plot continues, she is so disoriented that her decisions become riskier and more dangerous. Rather than feature shocking revelations or dramatic confrontations, the novel proceeds to a realistic conclusion. Rather than settle for a shallow resolution, the novel leaves you to ponder deeper complexities of personality and self.

    The story is fast paced, and as a main character, Yvonne is solid. But her children remain a mystery, and it's hard to grasp how they fit in with it all. Additionally, in the beginning there are hints as to the direction of the story that are misleading, and really weren't necessary at all. The book didn't need those elements to mystify us, her story alone is strong enough without them. And while the main character is female, the appeal of the plot isn't limited to a female audience.

    There was one seeming discrepancy: this sheltered woman has put herself in a foreign country, alone, without even a guidebook to the language. She is suspicious at times of others, and rightfully so, as malice is present, and yet she makes no great attempt to lock up her vacation rental or show any sense of caution in her actions. She's throwing euros around as tips, and everyone seems to know she's alone. Unexpected visitors, with their own keys, seem to pop up constantly, and yet she takes it all in stride. That seemed a bit out of character from how she was described, but it's a small complaint.

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  • Posted June 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Riveting Story

    The title of this book rather frightened me. I thought maybe this could end up being a raunchy book about two lovers. Not so at all and I was so thankful for that!

    The story revolves around Yvonne who has recently lost her husband and is trying to come to terms with her grief. She goes to Turkey where they honeymooned only to find that Turkey has changed and so has Yvonne. Yvonne has no problems making new friends in Turkey and befriends a young boy who does not speak English and the estranged wife of the man who owns the home she is renting. I thought Yvonne was more at ease with these new friends than with her own children. There were times in this book that I was very afraid for Yvonne and the danger of traveling alone in a country and not being able to communicate with everyone. Vendela Vida did an excellent job making me feel Yvonne's pain and confusion. She portrayed Yvonne as the typical American who needs to fix everything and in many cases makes it much worse. I could so relate in that aspect! I loved the setting of Turkey. It is a setting I am not very familiar with and one I have not read much about. I'm interested in more stories set in the area. I do feel the abrupt ending works well for this short book. At first I wanted more but then decided I was very satisfied with the ending. I would recommend this book. Don't let the title frighten you off!

    I would give this book 4 1/2 stars! I'll also be looking for more titles from Vendela Vida as she is a new to me author.

    Thank you to Greg at Ecco for providing this ARC for review.

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    Posted July 15, 2010

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    Posted April 15, 2011

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    Posted July 30, 2010

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    Posted February 28, 2011

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    Posted April 26, 2011

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    Posted August 27, 2010

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    Posted July 4, 2010

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    Posted January 13, 2011

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    Posted October 15, 2011

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