Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Une Promesse by Sorj Chalandon

La visite, murmure Etienne Pradon. Fauvette ne répond pas. Assise à la table aux coquelicots, elle remplit ses grilles, des lettres de case en case jusqu'à en oublier le temps.
I picked up this book in the library. That is where I get most of my books from these days, not because of my pro ecological beliefs but because I can't afford to buy the books anyway. The Lithuanian cover for the book looked pretty lame, but once I read the summary of the book on the back cover I was really tempted, and as always could not say no to myself for taking a book home even if I don't have that much time to read these days.

It was a brilliant choice, even though it's a downcast book, and one can barely grasp what is going on at the beginning, but as you work your way through it, you start building this picture as a puzzle, while getting yourself involved into other people's lives and experiences.

I was definitely carried away, and as I was nearing to the end of the story I started slowing down, trying to enjoy every word and every sentence that the words made. It was absolutely amazing. The tale of love and death and life, yes all of it and it does not make a Romeo and Juliet story at all, it is just emotionally overwhelming. I had to wipe a few tears, but then it is not a rare event that I cry while reading a book or watching a film.
As I finished reading this fine book, I wished I had read it in French, but it was a little too late. The translation was brilliant, still, we all know very well that translation steals a little bit of the feeling, the emotion and the expression of the craftmanship in any written work.

I never personally heard of Sorj Chalandon before I read this book, but I will certainly look out for this name when I will be visiting the library next time. Destiny in it's own ways has proved to me yet again that being poor is not always a bad thing, and that poverty brings its own gifts, that otherwise would pass unnoticed. The smell of the old books, the softness of the footsteps and the gentle rustle of the pages, when the librarians scan the book for a code (yes we are that modern in Lithuania!) it is the very oldy worldy romantic things that I love.

I would not like to tell you about the plot of the book as I hate spoilers, but let me tell you this, if you dislike slow pased books it is not for you, but if you like a book to leave you in wonder once you read the last page, then this is just the name you need to add to your to read list.

It's not just a book it's gateway to another world, where the things such as true friendship and love really exist.

Dix mois de promesse, dix mois à se dire qu’il faut, parce qu’il faut. Dix mois de deuil, à en perdre les raisons.

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