Leon and Louise

Leon and Louise

2.5 2
by Alex Capus

View All Available Formats & Editions

A tale of love’s triumph against improbable odds and the vicissitudes of history, by one of European's great emerging novelistsSee more details below


A tale of love’s triumph against improbable odds and the vicissitudes of history, by one of European's great emerging novelists

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

Read More

Product Details

Haus Publishing
Publication date:
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Sales rank:
File size:
0 MB

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >