I love the French title of this book, La consolante, which literally means the one who comforts. While it won’t be one of my favorite books, it had me in a trance. It had quite an effect on me, it would basically read itself, and I would get lost in the main character’s mind. Which for a big number of pages wasn’t the happiest place to be in, and I would find myself moody, or nostalgic.
As Life, but better, Consolation is also written mostly in first person, and it’s spiced with bursts of consciousness which often made me look inside and made me wonder about my own thoughts. It centers around a midlife crisis, and although the main character (Charles Balanda) is not particulary relatable, it features a few really colourful carachters, especially the two females his life revolves around and a very endearing transvestite.
It was sooo captivating, it took me one week to finish it’s slightly more than 500 pages, and made me realize I love Gavalda’s style. She preaches love and the ‘joie the vivre’ in an original and frappant way, and in this books she basically says it’s never to late to turn it around.
The happy ending might have been a tiny bit overdone, but after all the emotional rubbish Charles has been through, it was probably well deserved. There was one thing, other than the whimsical happy ending, that annoyed me even more. Some of the characters, and especially Kate, speak in a franco-english mixture, which made them seem to me like teenagers trying to be cool by using phrases they’ve just learned on the TV. I can’t really put my finger on why it annoyed me, but it just didn’t sound natural, especially when coming from the grown-ups.
This book is about none of us, and all of us, and there are parts that I loved about it and there are parts that I didn’t, but it’s a good thing I didn’t start reading it now that the Euro is under way, it would have given me a hard choice between the book and the games :)) But as soon as the Euro 2016 is over….does anybody have a new Gavalda book for me to read? :))