- Fizzy Thoughts: Angelina's Children

Angelina's Children

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Angelina's Children
Alice Ferney
1997
217 pages

First off, I'm severely annoyed that when I google for an image of the cover, all I get are pictures of the Jolie-Pitt kids. Hello, Google? Not all of us are into the children of celebrities. In fact, I never even made the connection between the book's title and you-know-who until Google bombarded me with images I didn't want to see. And yes, that includes the first image of a tattoo.

Okay, where was I? Oh yes. Angelina(the gypsy)'s Children. Another spur-of-the-moment pick for me. And I'm not really sure what I think of this one. It's actually a French novel (in translation, because I in no way read French. Or any other language.) and it won a French literary prize. But I'm ashamed to say I've never heard of the French literary prize, and I'm not even sure why it won.

Angelina(the gypsy)'s Children is a story about a family of gypsies, and a librarian who visits their camp once a week to read stories to the children. And really, that about sums it up, because there's not much happening in the way of plot. The book focuses heavily on the gypsy lifestyle, and the marriages of Angelina(the gypsy)'s sons, and how dirty and illiterate they all are, and how there isn't much of a work ethic in the men. I can't decide if the book is condescending or not. It certain plays up the stereotype of gypsies.

On the other hand, the four daughters-in-law were interesting, and I kept reading because I was curious as to how their stories played out. Esther the librarian was simply the woman who visited once a week. Other than her interactions with the family, we never saw her with her own family or at her job. And I'm confused as to how she could hold a job what with all the time she seemed to spend with the gypsies. And other than Anita and Sandro and Michael, the kids were pretty much indistinguishable. So were some of the men, for that matter.

Oh, and get this...the quote on the back cover describes the book as "A beautifully feminine and fertile book." Huh? Maybe that didn't translate well.

Maybe I'm being a bit harsh. The book was short and I read it in a couple of sittings and I didn't not like it. But I'm not going to gush about it either.

6 comment(s):

lilly said...

Good for you. I completely support your decision to write what is wrong about a book you are reading or have just read. I think that it is our priviledge and responsibility to let other people know that the book was bad and why so they can make a better inforemd decision whether they want to read it or not.

cali said...

The cover of this book is intriguing even if the book is not. Thanks for wading through all the Bradjolina stuff on the internets.

Veronica said...

I have to admit, my first thought when I read the title was of the Brangelina spawn. Though in my defence, my thought was followed by and 'ew.'

Veens said...

hehehe @ the way u write Angelina(the gypsy)'s Children.
:D :D
I didn't think abt that either :D D| :)
the book saouds okayish...mebbe they awarded for lack of anything better :D

Beth F said...

I guess I'm totally out of it. I didn't think of Brangelia until you mentioned your Google search. LOL!

Interesting concept; sorry the book didn't deliver more. THanks for the review.

Ladytink_534 said...

Sorry you didn't like it and had to sift through celeb stuff too!

In a real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read. It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish. ~S.I. Hayakawa

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
~St. Augustine

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.
~Mark Twain

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