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The Chase Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
With their home having a history that neither the two main characters Annette (Netty) nor Gerald knew prior to their purchase, you know this will not bode well. However, how Ms. Fergusson unravels her tale is unique. She is a writer of sublime quality – her language and her descriptions are pitch perfect. As she slowly unfolds her story, as a reader, I went back and forth with my sympathy. Certainly she has captured the quirkiness of expat life – no village is complete without its characters. Each plays a role in moving the story forward.
But most importantly, I believe, is that Ms. Fergusson has completely captured life in France with all its social hierarchy, its link to the past and to past social mores no better illustrated than by the dinner party at Bel Arbre. There are an increasing number of memoirs of Americans and British moving to Europe and sharing their experiences. Ms. Fergusson’s take on the predictability of restoring a centuries-old home, learning the language and manners of a newly adopted home, and making friends are all there, but with an unsettling atmosphere and personal history that gives this story great depth.
The Chase is not a true “who-done-it” but as the story progresses you, as the reader, know there has to be some retribution. For it is well known that there is no action without a counter-action. Ms. Fergusson captivates her reader from the beginning.Read more ›
As we're already in November, I think it's a safe bet to say THE CHASE is my book of 2011. Superbly written, ambitious in scope, morally complex, emotionally challenging, this is a real page-turner. In her hugely entertaining debut novel, Fergusson's large cast of British and French characters are sharply and convincingly delineated and in dialogue each character has his/her own voice. Humour gives way to horror as the veneer of ex-pat middle-class gentility is stripped away in the wild, unforgiving (and unforgetting) landscape of the Dordogne. (Note to TV companies: this would make a terrific mini-series.)
The only thing that Netty and Gerald still have in common is a shared sense of loss over a terrible tragedy to befall the family, five years previously.
In his boorish, blustering way, Gerald buys a gloomy house in the Dordogne (or as it is unkindly known, Dordogneshire), as pre-Euro and the current recession, the area attracted a large number of Brits who could afford second homes or who sold up and started a new life there. I'm guessing the book is set around the mid 1990s (although there is no reference in the book to the wider world in either Britain or France) but I figured it would have to be around this time - just as the economy in the UK has picked up enough for Gerald to sell his plumbing manufacturing company in England for a killing and head off to a blissful retirement in France.
As someone who used to help expats relocate to their idea of utopia, those who left their home country to run away from something (like Gerald and Netty) were the least likely to settle; as sadly, no matter how hard you try to leave your emotional baggage behind, it has a habit of catching up with you.Read more ›
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