Leon and Louise by Alex Capus | NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble
Leon and Louise

Leon and Louise

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by Alex Capus
     
 

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Summer 1918. The First World War is drawing to a close when Léon Le Gall, a French teenager from Cherbourg who has dropped out of school and left home, falls in love with Louise Janvier. Both are severely wounded by German artillery fire, are separated, and believe each other to be dead. Briefly reunited two decades later, the two lovers are torn apart again by

Overview

Summer 1918. The First World War is drawing to a close when Léon Le Gall, a French teenager from Cherbourg who has dropped out of school and left home, falls in love with Louise Janvier. Both are severely wounded by German artillery fire, are separated, and believe each other to be dead. Briefly reunited two decades later, the two lovers are torn apart again by Louise's refusal to destroy Léon's marriage and by the German invasion of France. In occupied Paris during the Second World War, where Léon struggles against the abhorrent tasks imposed upon him by the SS, and the wilds of Africa, where Louise confronts the hardships of her primitive environment, they battle the vicissitudes of history and the passage of time for the survival of their love.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In the summer of 1918, in the French village of Saint-Luc-sur-Marne, during WWI, Léon Le Gall is experiencing love for the first time, falling for Louise Janvier when she passes by on her “old gentleman’s” bicycle. The two grow close, but they are caught in artillery fire and separated, each presuming the other dead. Ten years later, Léon is living in Paris, married to another woman, and raising a four-year-old child. Though he is committed to his new responsibilities, a glimpse of Louise at a train station one day creates a dilemma: to do what he should or to do what he wants? Swiss author Capus (A Matter of Time) is an apt storyteller who captures the complexities of love and the hardships of everyday life with a keen eye. On its surface, this is a story about enduring love. But it is also about the way that power can be abused, particularly in times of war, and the daily sacrifices people make to preserve what they hold most dear. (Oct.)
Library Journal
The very title linking a man's and a woman's names suggests a passionate romance. Yet except for two brief encounters, the eponymous heroes of the novel spend almost no time together till later life. At the beginning of their story we follow the early years of Léon Le Gall, who collects found objects washed up by the tide near Cherbourg, France. When he first meets Louise Janvier, the two seem destined to remain at arm's length. And even after they finally experience a night of love, they are quickly parted by a German bomb that explodes close to them during a battle late in World War I. Ten years later they meet by chance in Paris, where again they spend less than a day together. At Louise's insistence, they meet no more until they are well into middle age. Only then do they settle into a routine of daily contact despite the existence of Léon's wife and children. VERDICT Swiss novelist Capus (A Matter of Time), ably translated by Brownjohn, achieves a quiet intensity that carries readers along, though most of the events recounted here—including the Nazi German occupation of Paris—are quite familiar. A fine choice for lovers of sophisticated historical fiction with the feel of memoir.—Edward Cone, New York

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781908323163
Publisher:
Haus Publishing
Publication date:
10/30/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
230
Sales rank:
709,158
File size:
495 KB

Meet the Author

Alex Capus is a French-Swiss novelist who writes in German. His works of fiction and non-fiction that have been translated into English include Sailing by Starlight (2008), A Matter of Time (2009), Leon and Louise (2012) and Skidoo (2014).

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