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Delicacy: A Novel Paperback – February 14, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
It flowed very well and the references in between chapters were a nice little addition.
It read like a screenplay, which it ended up becoming, by the author himself.
I have yet to see the movie but the book was, like the title, a delight.
There are a number of very nice romantic moments, a number of funny ones, a few tragic ones. Altogether a nice story. It has won a number of French awards and sold a ton of books there.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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I loved this book in spite of the film.
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Redundant, slow story. A mood piece with quirky interruptions. Rather a disappointment.Published 22 months ago by Bonnie Beckett
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 morePublished on May 21, 2014 by Teisha
This is a fast paced, unusual love story. The characters are unique but likable, quirky and a little odd, but not off-putting. Read morePublished on April 7, 2014 by Courtney LeBlanc