Sunday, May 24, 2009
Sick of seeing her ex-boyfriend all around (he has a tendency to pop up in the news and magazines), Anna decides to relocate. To Paris. Thanks to her French father, she is fluent in French; thanks to a year abroad, she has friends in the city; and thanks to her aunt, she has a place to stay. It's a pretty sweet deal. Except she's still miserable over the rat bastard that cheated on her.
Once in Paris, Anna manages to pick up a translating job. The work is a bit mysterious, though. The project is hush-hush...she does not know who the author is, and she only receives one chapter at a time to translate. And to top it off, the work is a bit risque. And not even poetically risque...more like this-is-crap-risque. Except, she kind of gets hooked on the story.
As Anna struggles with the nuances of translation and the puzzle of the author of the aforementioned risque book, she also struggles (again) with her love life. She meets Olivier, a French actor, and deals with issues of trust, commitment and honesty. Is her past affecting her ability to believe in her new boyfriend, or is he really just another rat bastard?
Also, there was the totally unexpected ending. Not so much with the mysterious author, because I did see that one coming, and not with Olivier, but something else came from way out in left field that made me go whoa. This book actually has a lot going on (not in a bad, confusing way) and all of the different story arcs make this more than just a girl-on-the-rebound novel.
Finally, if you have ever yearned to live in Paris, this book will just make that desire even worse. Foreign Tongue does not take you on a tour of the Paris tourist sites. Rather, it is set among the cafes and bookstores and apartments of everyday Parisian life. Added to that are quotes and words and phrases in French. This book made Literate Housewife want to study French. It made me wish I had paid more attention in my high school French classes. It also made me wish for more books like this.
And now, I'll leave you with a few photos from my last (brief) trip to Paris. Not my first choice of photos, but the rest are on a flash drive that is, of all places, at work.
la tour Eiffel
booksellers on the left bank