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The Lovers: A Novel Hardcover – June 22, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
The overwrought latest from Vida (Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name) concerns itself with paradoxes of intimacy: isolation within a closely tied family and the unexpected affection between strangers from different cultures. Twenty-six years after her honeymoon in Datça, Turkey, recently widowed Yvonne returns to the Turkish peninsula not to relive the early happy days of her marriage but to remember them. Instead, she finds herself haunted by the many struggles she and her husband faced, above all the wedge driven between them by the antics of their alcoholic daughter, Aurelia. As Yvonne explores the town and its surrounding beaches, she starts to settle into her new identity as a widow and finds herself under a microscope as an American tourist traveling alone. A fast friendship with a young Turkish boy eases Yvonne's loneliness, but it also sparks the disapproval of several locals, leading to a climactic conversation and a quiet epiphany. It's a slow, self-involved story, nearly every page of which is marred by Vida's strained attempts to create high art. (July)
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From Bookmarks Magazine
Vida's loosely arranged trilogy on "women in crisis" ends, perhaps aptly, with The Lovers, about an older, vulnerable woman coming to grips with her husband's death and her strained relationship with her children. Most reviewers cited Yvonne as a compelling, moving protagonist dealing with grief, betrayal, and life's ups and downs and praised Vida's spare, cinematic storytelling. The Onion AV Club provided the only major dissent, claiming that in its attempt at profundity, the novel instead delves into ambiguity and aimlessness. Most readers, however, will find much to enjoy in this subtle and haunting work.
Top customer reviews
Vida writes a story about a woman named Yvonne who was recently widowed and goes back to Datca, Turkey where she and her late husband honeymooned. Yvonne's emotions are still somewhat raw from her husband's death and she is clearly evolving as a person and finding herself again. Driving fast through the street of Turkey is probably something she would not have done while married let alone scraping tar off her borrowed car. She stays at the home of a rich man who advertised its availability on the Internet and quickly befriends his estranged wife. She goes to the beach and befriends a young 10 year old boy who is collecting shells. Tragedy strikes and Yvonne is forced to think deeply about her role in it and what to do to make amends. Readers of Vendela Vida will note similarities between this book and Northern Lights around the long bus rides the main characters take. We also learn about Yvonne's twins who are older now but who could not be different from one another. Overall I can't say I was particularly enthused about this book. It is not on of Vida's best. Stick to Northern Lights.
This was a well-written book that had a lot of things going for it. The characters of Yvonne and Ozlem are very interesting and far more complex than you believe at first glance. And while the story is compelling and intriguing, as very little you expect actually happens, ultimately it left me a bit disappointed. While Yvonne becomes more frantic as the book draws to a close, the story's disjointed nature was jarring, and Yvonne's actions didn't seem true to her character. The ending also seemed a little abrupt for me, although it had been hinted at.
Vida's previous book, Let The Northern Lights Erase Your Name is fantastic. I'd definitely recommend that one; this one, not as much.
Widowed in her early fifties, Yvonne travels back to Turkey where she and her husband spent their honeymoon 23 years ago. She is going there, she claims, not to relive that time but to remember it. During her stay, she is haunted by memories she was not anticipating: the difficult times caused by their troubled daughter, and the growing distance between her and her husband, Peter. She finds herself way out of her comfort zone, both physically and emotionally. The Turkish cast of characters, from the house owner's estranged wife to the shell-collecting 10 year old boy, add authenticity and depth to the story.
Vida nicely weaves present day events with those in Yvonne's memory. She details bigger-picture conflicts, such as East vs. West as well as the everyday challenges involving men and women, and parents and children.
Read it. You can do it in a day. The Lovers: A Novel
Most recent customer reviews
I would not recommend it.
it's a good story but I couldn't feel empathy for the main character.Read more