The Rest of Their Lives
I need to start by gushing…this was my favourite holiday read by far. I could not get enough of it! Gush, gush, gush….
This delightful novel (in translation) is set in France and follows two protagonists who are brought together in unlikely circumstances. Each character is delightfully drawn and the author draws you skilfully into their world. He captures so delicately the essence of each character. You feel as if you’re given a window to their soul.
The supporting characters too are given the same treatment, the art of “show, don’t tell” is so masterfully undertaken in this novel that upon finishing my first thought was that I wanted to read it al over again.
What’s so wonderful about this novel is that it all seems so simple. This is almost like reading a child’s picture book so clear is the language and narration. If this book were food it would be the perfect soufflé – light and airy but technically complex.
I think that in the novel the plot is almost secondary to the beautiful writing and characterisation, so I’ll leave it for you to discover, but I will say it is a bit cheesy and predictable, but it does not detract from what I felt was an absolutely charming read. Highly recommended!
About the Author
Jean-Paul Didierlaurent lives in the Vosges region of France. His short stories have twice won the International Hemingway Award and his debut novel, The Reader on the 6.27, was a bestseller both in the UK and internationally. The Rest of Their Lives is his second novel.