Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyPopular novelist Boissard ( Cecile ) conveys an upbeat feminist message that is unabashedly sentimental. Severine at 18 renounced her singing career to marry the charming, though boorishly conventional Didier, who says she is frigid. Now in her 40s, the tremulous Severine finds herself a grandmother, divorced and adrift. Is it ``too soon for menopause, or too late for pleasure?'' She feels lucky to win the immediate devotion of attractive 50-ish Vincent, a TV talk show host and producer, who calls her his ``castaway.'' As a newly independent woman, Severine tries to enjoy her body. She buys lacy lingerie, in spite of the jeers of her gruff boss Maryse, a hardcore manhater. By resuming her music in a successful comeback role as the mythical, other-worldly Ondine (who dares to feel both pain and love for an earthling), Severine saves herself and, unexpectedly, Vincent. This fleeting tale shimmers with delicate insights about the sexes and idyllic/erotic interludes. (Apr.)
Library Journal - Library JournalBoissard, whose works have also appeared under the name Janine Oriano, frequently writes about women in modern society. Here she introduces us to Severine, recently divorced by an unfaithful husband (her first and only lover) after a long-term marriage. Now in her mid-forties, Severine must learn to live alone and earn a living. Her life changes radically when she meets Vincent, who helps her discover herself, her natural talent (singing), and, above all, her sexuality. This is not the first time Feeney has translated one of Boissard's works, and she succeeds in capturing every subtle change in mood of this intimate narrative of a woman who finally attains her full potential. In contrast with other novels about women, where male characters are presented as obstacles, this story presents a case in favor of mutual understanding and esteem.-- Danielle Mihram, NYU Lib.
- Little, Brown & Company
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