- File Size: 1165 KB
- Print Length: 258 pages
- Publisher: Grove Press (March 22, 2010)
- Publication Date: April 1, 2018
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B004CFAT0U
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,815 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
The Pleasing Hour: A Novel Kindle Edition
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|Length: 258 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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In Paris she moves in with the Tivots: the unassuming, shambling father, Marc; the glamorous and unforgiving mother, Nicole; the beautiful daughter, Odile; the merry daughter, Lola; the momma's boy, Guillaume. Rosie steps into the highly polarized atmosphere of the Tivot household, unconsciously upsetting its equilibrium by throwing in her lot with Marc and Lola. And when the family heads off to Spain for vacation, the power balance shifts palpably, since Rosie is the only one who speaks Spanish. Even Nicole grudgingly admires her. What's more, Rosie notices Marc regarding her with the "relentless curiosity he'd had in his eye since we landed in Spain." On Mallorca, the two consummate their relationship, and the betrayal forces her to see beyond her own worries to the entrenched pains and allegiances of her host family.
King cleverly iterates this message in her narrative. She occasionally, deliberately, allows each member of the Tivot family to voice the story, and this opening-up of the narrative allows the world to flow into a novel whose themes might otherwise seem petty. In the end, the author doesn't perpetrate the dull crime of youthful self-involvement--she comments on it. We care for Rosie from the start, but we like her a lot more as she comes alive to the people around her. --Claire Dederer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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The dynamic of Rosie's and Marc's relationship was described amazingly and painfully well, even as Rosie came to understand what Nicole found objectionable in Marc. Rosie's discomfort and awkwardness were conveyed so well I was actually cringing during certain passages.
The only aspects I had trouble wrapping my mind around were how, since the Tivots got a new au pair every year, they were all so quick to open to, trust, and become attached to Rosie. The speed and ease of the transition from Paris to Plaire was also a little hard to fit into the relationship between Rosie and Nicole.
I appreciated how the story began and ended in Plaire, and the overall smoothness of that arc.
This is my second Lily King novel, having begun with "Euphoria". I plan to read everything she's written -- truly a gifted writer.
King's writing is bursting with color and primed with passion, it sweeps you off your feet with its many convoluted evocative nuances. The simple story of Rosie, the au pair with a tragic past, has so many angles it's as if it's reflected from a prism. The concept of a young woman perhaps being lead by her nose into guilt, or perhaps creating her own guilt is explored with such subtlety that it comes a a surprise to realize that this is really the theme of the novel. This kind of writing is rare, this type of author a 'one-in-a-generation' species. Not since I first read John Fowles have I been so deeply affected by the written word. The questions posed (without giving the plot away) : Did they plan it, had they done it before?
Now, I have lived through Rosie and have loved the life that we lived. What a wonderful story, with lots of unanswered questions about how all of this comes about and where she goes from here. I would have preferred that the book go on forever. I would have loved to be there with her and if Ms. King wouldn't mind, I'd like her to send me another chapter every time she got a chance.
Like the life I decided not to live, this one is far too short.
A fascinating, charmed story. Don't pass this chance by.