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French Leave
     

French Leave

by Anna Gavalda, Alison Anderson (Translator)
 

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A bestselling novel in Europe with over half a million copies sold, published in over twenty-six languages, Anna Gavalda's French Leave is a charming adventure that tells the story of four siblings in search of the happiness they knew as children and the bonds that once united them. 

Simon, Garance and Lola flee a dull family wedding (and Simon's

Overview

A bestselling novel in Europe with over half a million copies sold, published in over twenty-six languages, Anna Gavalda's French Leave is a charming adventure that tells the story of four siblings in search of the happiness they knew as children and the bonds that once united them. 

Simon, Garance and Lola flee a dull family wedding (and Simon's uptight and judgemental wife) to visit their younger brother, Vincent, who is working as a guide at a château in the heart of the enchanting Tours countryside. For a few hours, they forget about kids, spouses, work, and the many demands adulthood makes upon them and lose themselves in a day of laughter, teasing, and memories. As simply and as spontaneously as the adventure began, it ends. All four return to their everyday lives, carrying with them the magic of their brief reunion. They are stronger now, and happier, for having rediscovered the ties that bind them.

Lighthearted, tender and funny, a parable on escaping the past to find the future, French Leave is a tribute to sibling relationships, local Loire wines, and the art of being together.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
For those who still assume all French literature is intellectual or existential, Gavalda (Hunting and Gathering), a translator and bestselling author in Europe, is the clear antidote. Her anecdotal latest follows Simon and his two sisters, Lola and Garance, as they escape a cousin's countryside wedding (and Simon's persnickety wife, Carine), fleeing from the church to seek out their brother, Vincent, who is impersonating a pauperized aristocrat while working as a tour guide in a local chateau. The siblings spend an indulgent afternoon together, starkly delineating the difference between Paris and the rest of France. Narrator Garance ridicules nearly everyone except her family, upon whom she lavishes continuous praise. Her urbane siblings are "those sublime losers," and her mother is "graceful, charming, full of energy, elegant, so much class.... A typical Parisienne." However, the author's effort fails as both pastiche and social commentary; her take on the provinces and the sorry souls who inhabit them is ungenerous and trite, while the narrator's no-less-distinctive Parisian parochialism goes unchecked and unexamined. Though undeniably funny at times, especially when the author takes aim at such easily lampooned cultural archetypes as the conservative, predictable, hygiene-obsessed pharmacist, Carine, the novel never gathers any steam and finally peters out with a three-page iPod playlist, which brings bittersweet tears to Garance and, to the reader, tears of boredom. (May)
From the Publisher
Praise for Anna Gavalda

"[Like Anne Tyler and Nick Hornby] Anna Gavalda has the ability to create intelligent dramas with a witty sideline in banter-driven dialogue...Her stock in trade is the endearing oddball. Her characters' peccadilloes drive the narrative engine as much as plot delivery. Conversation turns towards the manic passions of obsessives."
—The Independent (UK)

"Gavalda writes warm hearted-fiction, with plenty of culture, emotion and thoughtfulness."
—The Telegraph (UK)

"[French Leave is] a slight novel with great—and eventually moving—insights into the dynamics of family life."
—Kirkus Reviews

"The most discreet of bestselling authors, with French Leave, Gavalda once again demonstrates her delightful uniqueness and buoyancy. Infinitley charming with dialogue that sparkles like fire."
—Madame Figaro

"A comedy of happiness that will delight readers."
—La Croix 

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781609450052
Publisher:
Europa
Publication date:
04/26/2011
Pages:
144
Sales rank:
899,508
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Born in Paris in 1970, Anna Gavalda’s first published work was the critically acclaimed collection of short stories I Wish Someone Were Waiting for Me Somewhere, which sold over half a million copies in her native France and was published in the US by Riverhead in 2003. She is also the author of Someone I Loved and the international bestseller Hunting and Gathering (Riverhead, 2007), which was made into a film starring Audrey Tautou and Daniel Auteuil. Gavalda lives in Paris. Alison Anderson's translations for Europa Editions include novels by Sélim Nassib, Amélie Nothomb, and Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt. She is the translator of The Elegance of the Hedgehog (Europa, 2008) and The Life of the Elves (Europa, 2016) by Muriel Barbery.

Alison Anderson's translations for Europa Editions include novels by Sélim Nassib, Amélie Nothomb, and Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt. She is the translator of The Elegance of the Hedgehog (Europa, 2008) and The Life of the Elves (Europa, 2016) by Muriel Barbery.

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