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Delicacy: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

David Foenkinos , Bruce Benderson
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.99
Kindle Price: $1.99
You Save: $13.00 (87%)
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers

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Book Description

Reminiscent of novels by Nick Hornby, Muriel Barbery, and Jonathan Tropper,internationally acclaimed novelist David Foenkinosdelivers a heartfelt and deftly comedic tale of new love brightening the darkaftermath of loss—and of wounded hearts finding refuge in the strangest ofplaces. After her husband’s unexpected death, Natalie has erected a fortressaround her emotions—and Markus, clumsy and unassuming, will never be her knightin shining armor. Yet slowly but surely, an offbeat romance begins betweenthese two mismatched, complex souls, and contrary to everything Natalie knowsof affection, her perfect suitor may turn out to be love’s most unlikelycandidate—the fool, not the hero, who is finally able to reach her heart.

Editorial Reviews Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, February 2012: David Foenkinos has been showered with accolades, including nominations for France's top five literary awards, and here's another: His new novel is one of the finest of the year. Sly and funny, with a dark patina that belies its nationality, Delicacy traces the relationship between Natalie, an ambitious young beauty, and Markus, a kind and bumbling introvert. She, suddenly widowed, seems untouchable; he has, as the French say, no game, but he manages to touch her anyway. We get the pleasure of watching it happen, and Foenkinos's precise, insightful style makes us forget that these two are falling in love on the page and not right in front of us. Don't be fooled by the chick-lit cover or the forthcoming feature film starring Audrey "Amélie" Tautou. Delicacy isn't a bonbon, it's a main course--rich and nuanced and completely satisfying. --Mia Lipman


Reads like an Amelie for grown-ups ... This tragic-comic smasher from the fantastic French author David Foenkinos has made a huge impact in his home country ... Written with [an] irresistible charm, this novel's delicacy and lightness is given weight by the undercurrent of grief and broken hearts Stylist Book of the Week A more whimsical, less knowing variation on David Nicholls' blockbuster One Day ... unputdownable ... Immensely likeable, unexpectedly compelling and moving -- Eileen Battersby Irish Times Lists and notes, in Nick Hornby or Alain de Botton style, punctuate the narrative. "Delicate" is probably the mot juste for this ineffably Gallic romance, which is translated with panache Independent An exquisite novel of hidden beauty Elle A skilfully depicted, lovely romantic comedy whose real charm is to celebrate the new surprises of love Journal du Dimanche A marvel Anna Gavalda

Product Details

  • File Size: 369 KB
  • Print Length: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (February 14, 2012)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005FFV2FM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #272,547 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing book about enduring love February 22, 2012
I don't normally write customer reviews, but I absolutely loved this book and do not want it to slip by unnoticed. As someone whose first husband died too young, I could totally relate to Natalie's sense that her life had lost meaning, and that nobody could ever replace him. When an unexpected relationship develops with a co-worker in such a natural yet surprising way, I could hardly put the book down.

I always love a well written book, and this one delighted me with its refreshing style and word choices that kept me reading phrases and sentences out loud to my husband. Since this was a translation from the French, I found myself wondering how the original could possibly work as well as this! Delicacy reeled me in from the first words, and never disappointed me right through the last sentence.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Life and emotions are delicate, lest we forget February 27, 2012
A bestseller in France, this book is the first novel ever nominated for all five major French literary prizes.

Plot is not the point of this short novel, which makes it unlikely that it will repeat that popular success in the United States. Which is unfortunate, because this book successfully explores the emotional lives of its characters. As a nation we in the United States are addicted to the plot, to the shifts and plunges of a story. And for those in search of that adrenalin hit, this book will disappoint. But it has definite pleasures, and those linger much longer than the mere attraction of a storyline.

Start with the title: delicacy. It is a word not used much in daily life, an old-fashioned word. But appealing, intriguing, somewhat remote and even mysterious. But easy to pass over as a book title.

The gentle narrative arc of this book concerns Natalie, a beautiful woman in her twenties and thirties who hesitantly falls in love and marries Francois. He is killed in a bicycle accident. Francois in her grief buries herself in her work for the Paris division of a Swedish research firm where she navigates the relationships with her boss, Charles, and a subordinate, Marcus. And that is about it for the plot.

It is in the examination of the nuances of emotions and desire that this book excels. While the plot is thin, the intricacies of interior dialog and the great space given characters to think and react is highly unusual in current bestseller fiction. When Marcus and Natalie awkwardly stumble through their individual protective shells in search of emotional stability, the descriptions are nuanced, unusual and yet the reader understands the narrative consistency and fidelity to what we have earlier learned of these characters.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A quirky, enjoyable read February 21, 2012
By Bp2000
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm not one to write reviews, but I was upset to see that this book had only garnered a one-star review. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found the author's writing style to be refreshing. It is a story woven from many perspectives of characters that are sometimes only passing through, and you feel an emotional attachment to each of them. The author is gifted with creativity and I truly felt like I was reading a work of art, up for interpretation.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delicate, Wonderful, Touching February 26, 2012
This novel, written wonderfully by David Foenkinos in a beautiful, flowing prose style, is a story of love, loss, hope and learning to live again. The title is almost all you need to know about this book, for it is truly delicate in presentation, with both delicate characters and a delicate story. It is the story of Natalie, grieving from the loss of her husband, and Markus, a geeky, unassuming coworker of Natalie's. Peppered with factoids, anecdotes, song lyrics and verses of poetry, Delicacy is a touching and tender read. I recommend it highly to anyone who has ever dealt with loss and wondered how they could ever move on.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Dictionaries stop where the heart starts" August 6, 2012
Francois meets Natalie. They fall in love and get married. Francois dies in an accident. Natalie is devastated. One day, years after Francois' death, she kisses one of her colleagues, Markus, on a whim. Could Markus be Natalie's lifeline back to love?

If I'd read that synopsis I would have said that no way would this be a novel I'd enjoy nor think it could possibly work, but having read the novel I can say "Delicacy" is a discovery for me - it's a really good novel. But it's more than a romance novel with nothing to offer but surface texture, its subject is what all great literary novels are concerned with: the human spirit and the human heart.

What makes someone love someone else? How does love happen? Both of Natalie's loves in the book are met by chance, and as for why, well, the novel doesn't really explain it. But who could? People just fall for other people. At one point, Natalie's boss Charles tries to make Natalie love him by mimicking her love Markus but of course it doesn't work. And it's not just looks, Markus is described throughout as odd looking, even ugly, while Natalie always positively, beautiful, goddess, the most beautiful woman in the office, etc. The story explores love tentatively which is maybe the only way to explore love - and of course draws no conclusions, just that two people found each other and fell in love.

The lightness of the story - there isn't a plot - and the fluid writing style that is unchallenging and simple (but not simplistic), make "Delicacy" both a quick read but also more enjoyable as you just get swept up in the story and can enjoy these two likeable people slowly come out of their own respective shells and find a reason to live.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars La delicatesse
what can i say?

this is beautifully written, realistic story of love, loss and second chances. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Sharon L
2.0 out of 5 stars Rather disappointing
Redundant, slow story. A mood piece with quirky interruptions. Rather a disappointment.
Published 6 months ago by Bonnie Beckett
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Not for me ... I found it a bit ""Mills n Boon-ish ""
Published 8 months ago by Chris
4.0 out of 5 stars I liked this
This was recommended to me by a colleague who had read the original French version, and I can say it is one of the best books I have read in a while. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Teisha
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely book
I deeply enjoyed this book and found it meaningful and thought provoking while being quirky and fun. Read more
Published 11 months ago by T. Lu
4.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars - an interesting read
This is a fast paced, unusual love story. The characters are unique but likable, quirky and a little odd, but not off-putting. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Courtney Birst
5.0 out of 5 stars An enchanting read about love and happenstance
Delicacy is a charming, touching, whimsical, “arty” short story about love and the role happenstance plays. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Swirls
5.0 out of 5 stars Won't let you go
This is my kind of book, where they hook you right from the beginning.
Very clever, delightfully written, adictive.. many thumbs up.
Published 14 months ago by Enmanuel Sosa G.
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting angle
I lost a spouse, suddenly and this book is now replete with bookmarks in my Kindle.
Foenkinos must have suffered a similar loss.
Published 14 months ago by Joel Sundquist
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother with this one
Its only redeeming quality was that it was short. Otherwise the story was lame and the characters not believeable. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Vigdis Jacobsen
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What does p.s. Mean?
I've always wondered that too.
Feb 16, 2012 by laurenpie |  See all 2 posts
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